Ethylene Script  60″ x 40″ acrylic / metal,  2013

A  recent work derived from the story of Oedipus by Sophocles. Some alterations from the story occur in this work. The image of the winged sphinx on the left side also doubles as a portrait of Jacosta. As wife of King Laius, and eventually mother and wife to Oedipus, she hung herself upon discovering the truth concerning the fates of both. The sphinx is attached to a tape recorder that records the riddles it proposes. It was the solving of the sphinx’s riddle that eventually led young Oedipus to power. The oracle which pays an important role in the story, is portrayed as the woman with the camera. Oedipus is  portrayed  on the right side of the work. The images of the bird and the snake refer to prophecies given to Oedipus which reveled the truth of his origin and fate. The tiny bird perched on the impaling spike of Oedipus refers to augurs. Augurs interpreted prophecies by the flights and /or the songs of birds. The  entwined serpent beneath the head of Oedipus refers to Tiresias, the blind prophet of Thebes that reluctantly revealed Oedipus’s own role in the killing of his father King Laius. The feet bound and punctured by a large baby pin refer to the decision by King Laius to abandon his own infant son Oedipus on a mountain top in the hope of evading his own prophecy  that he was fated to be killed by his own son. The title, Ethylene Script refers to the unfolding of fate as foretold by an oracle. In this case, the reference is to the disputed idea that Greek oracles such as  Pythia, were subject to visionary trances induced by an ethylene gas found to emanate  from the depths of the temple.

 

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