New review: To peep or not to peep

// 20 August 2012

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The National Gallery unveils an exhibition that encourages gallery-goers to peep on a naked woman. Ania Ostrowska is not impressed

N-6420-00-000039-pr.jpgThe myth of Diana and Actaeon is one that demonstrates that Greek (and/or Roman) Goddesses didn’t take prisoners. On seeing Actaeon spying on her and her companions while they bathed, Diana, Goddess of the hunt, simply turns him into a deer, to be hunted down and slain.

Whatever you think of Diana’s way of dealing with a voyeur, it’s certainly clear that she is one woman you don’t want to cross.

However, when Ania went to the National Gallery to see the Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 exhibition, she was confronted by Mark Wallinger’s piece in homage to Titian’s artistic rendering of the story. In this work, a model wanders naked around a small room, which has various holes and windows through which to peep.

Ania points out:

There are very few rules the models have to follow but they have to behave “suitably goddess-ish”. First question that comes to my mind is: would that involve turning unruly men into stags to be eaten by their dogs? The answer is no, as they are confined to a small locked space, severely limiting their divine powers. Wearing necklaces and moving slowly has to do.

Click here to read Ania’s review and comment.

The picture is Titian’s ‘Death of Actaeon’, © bought by the National Gallery with a special grant and contributions from The Art Fund, The Pilgrim Trust and though public appeal in 1972

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