Flesh Memories: Penelope's Shield, 1995

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In Flesh Memories: Penelope’s Shield, Tabitha Vevers references a character in a Greek epic poem called The Odyssey. The poem follows Odysseus as he journeys home to his wife, Penelope, who waits for him while fending off suitors who believe her to be a widow. Vevers inscribes Penelope’s story onto her body. A crumpled paper figure resting on the torso’s chest might represent how Penelope waited for Odysseus. The arrows pointing toward the figure’s pubic region likely reference the final challenge Penelope sets for her suitors: whoever could string Odysseus’ bow and shoot twelve arrows would win her hand. The shape of the shield suggests strength, while the imagery reminds the viewer of how unequal gender dynamics can render women vulnerable.

Flesh Memories: Penelope's Shield
Artist Life
born 1957
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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