R-Evolution Favorite 


Nov 10 2017


Washington D.C.

Activists are working to bring a steel sculpture of a 45-foot-tall nude woman to Washington, where she will temporarily face the White House from a perch on the National Mall.

Transporting the sculpture from its home in San Francisco will be an undertaking, but its artist, Marco Cochrane, said he saw it as an opportunity to start a conversation about violence against women.

His creation, called R-Evolution, depicts a short-haired, nude woman standing in mountain pose — a yoga posture chosen by the sculpture’s model, the singer and songwriter Deja Solis.

The sculpture invites viewers to imagine a world where women are safe and live without fear, Mr. Cochrane said.

“For her to be able to just stand there and express nothing, just to be present in the moment, is a really powerful statement,” he said.

The sculpture was created for the Burning Man festival in 2015 but is being repurposed for Catharsis on the Mall, a gathering in Washington that seeks to bring about social change. Organizers plan to install it over six days in November and leave it in place until March.

It will cost $90,000 to move R-Evolution and install it. As of Monday morning, a campaign on a crowdfunding website had raised 30 percent of the money to transport the sculpture.

Mr. Cochrane’s collaborator and partner, Julia Whitelaw, said the sculpture’s positioning on the National Mall was not directed at the Trump administration. She said Catharsis on the Mall organizers had discussed bringing the sculpture to Washington before Mr. Trump was elected.

Even so, she added, President Trump has made derogatory comments about women. “We are hoping that he will see this sculpture and come experience her and change his perspective,” she said.

The National Park Service is still reviewing the group’s proposal, Russell Newell, a spokesman for the Department of the Interior, said in an email.

Robert Haferd, who is leading Catharsis’s efforts to gain a permit, said his group was providing the government with additional details.

“Since they’ve reviewed our plans and the preparation is going well, we’re confident,” he said.

Catharsis on the Mall is scheduled for Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 10-12, but the sculpture would remain in place for up to four months to raise awareness about the Equal Rights Amendment, organizers said. The first anniversary of the Women’s March is Jan. 21, 2018.

One of the permit conditions would require Catharsis to provide enough volunteers to keep watch over the sculpture around the clock for four months. That will be one of the biggest challenges, Sanam Emami, a spokeswoman for Catharsis on the Mall, said in an interview.

This year’s theme is “Nurturing the Heart,” Ms. Emami said, a nod to “the intense political and social divisions that we’re experiencing individually and as a community.”

Ms. Emami said that when she looked at the sculpture she saw a strong woman who was “making no excuses and making no apologies, but just taking ownership of the space that is rightfully hers.”

Mr. Cochrane, who has been creating sculptures for 25 years, said he was driven to focus on the female form after being haunted by stories he heard as a 7-year-old about the abduction and rape of a childhood friend who was 9.

“It’s not a priority in our culture to protect and support women,” he said. “To make sculptures of women who are just being people seemed to me to be a way to humanize this form, which is so sexualized.”

OCT. 2, 2017
New York Times

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