Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Video: Olympia Dukakis and Carey Perloff on the Making of “Elektra”

“I will not participate in that patriarchy!” That was Olympia Dukakis’s reaction, almost 25 years ago, when director Carey Perloff approached her about starring as Clytemnestra in Ezra Pound’s translation of Elektra. Today’s production—with a text by acclaimed female  playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker—stars Dukakis as the Chorus, a role designed for her “fierce” talent by Wertenbaker.

In this video, Dukakis and Perloff discuss their long working relationship, the dramatic tensions in the Chorus’s role, Wertenbaker’s innovative translation, and the question the play asks about rebellion: Is it a noble quest for justice, or a personal indulgence? (at 5:08).

The video wraps (at 7:45) with an electrifying discussion of a great irony of Greek drama: that this male-dominated form is so rich in towering, demanding, exhilarating roles for women.

Tagged , , , , , , Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Tumblr

    • photo from Tumblr

      #ProvenancePeek: Winslow Homer at the Met

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      The provenance of this Winslow Homer marine, or seascape, is relatively straightforward as these things go. It was entered into the stock books of M. Knoedler and Co, prominent New York art dealers, in October of 1901. Knoedler & Co purchased the painting, titled Cannon Rock, from Chicago pastor and educator Dr. Frank Gunsaulus on October 24, 1901. Just over two weeks later, on November 9, the firm sold it to art collector and dry goods merchant George Arnold Hearn. Hearn made a gift of his collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1906, and that is where Cannon Rock has lived ever since.

      This seascape is one of Homer’s later works, notable for its flatness. Homer spent the last 25 years of his life living in coastal Maine, painting land- and seascapes that both respect and challenge nature’s authority. Cannon Rock’s mellow provenance tale belies the powerful scene it presents.

      The stock books of the Knoedler Gallery have recently been transformed into a searchable database which anyone can query for free.

      Cannon Rock, 1895, Winslow Homer. Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of George A. Hearn, 1906 (above); pages from the Knoedler stock and sales books listing the painting (below).


      #ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into #onthisday provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute.


  • Flickr