Sam Taylor-Wood, Ukrainian Pavilion

An interview with the artist in front of her work:

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The narrative of Leda and the Swan was of particular interest during the Italian Renaissance;  a few examples follow.  Please read the comments to this post…and add you comment.

Cesare da Sesto (after Leonardo), 1505-10:


Correggio, 1531-32:


Ammanati, mid-16th c.:


4 thoughts on “Sam Taylor-Wood, Ukrainian Pavilion

  1. Lauren Hicks

    This clip was interesting because the artist talked about how she wanted to use the space. It’s amazing how she envisioned the isolated movement. The object that held the movement was inanimate, though there were live people in the scene.

  2. Kimberly Berlinghoff

    I thought this first work was very disturbing. The decaying of the swan, while at the same time posed in a sensual way on the girl’s body, was repulsive to me. At the same time I found this work strangely fascinating and I watched the clip several times. It was curious to me that this work could attract and repel me at the same time.

    I thought her second work with the scene of “living statues” was amazing and wonderful. Taking an everyday moment and turning it into something more than what it seems, was refreshing after viewing her first work.

  3. Siobhan Dannaher

    This was an interesting interview because I felt like Sam Taylor Wood had created a totally new kind of artwork. The swan piece was very exquisite, it reminded me of the fairy-tale of the young princess who transforms into swan until her prince rescues her. It seemed like the girl and the swan were one in the piece even though the girl never moved as the swam melted away above her.
    The second piece was fascinating as well although I wish that the artist had not let her secret out. I was disappointed that the way she filmed it was so simple.
    I understand that the basic themes of these works are capturing a moment in time but I don’t really see how the swan one really jives with the other two on this idea. It is just so much more bazairre.

  4. maoch

    The “swan” work is, indeed, disturbing. It’s also an excellent example, I think, of post-modernism in the visual arts. Taylor-Wood is taking a familiar narrative (Leda and the Swan from Greek mythology) and presenting it in a manner that reminds us of the myth while at the same time demands that we question the power of myth in our lives.
    The myth of Leda and the Swan was especially popular in the 16th century. Leonardo and Michelangelo both created versions of this narrative; neither works survive today, but references to them can be detected in works by other artists.


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