Elena Sisto, Phantom of Liberty (For Bertolucci)
|Dimensions||24 x 18 inches|
|Medium||India ink on board|
|Works||New York, NY|
Reflecting on this Year
This drawing began as a rendition of the Dutchess of Alba, so lovingly portrayed by Francisco de Goya. Facing the viewer originally, her image gradually began twisting towards the right. What had been the imperious gesture of a confident, adored and spoiled aristocrat gradually transformed into one of solitary searching and inquiry. In the process her character evolved from Spanish Grandee to unsure questioner. She is like a lay Statue of Liberty peering out into the darkness. The title of the piece comes from a 1974 Surrealist comedy by Luis Bunuel “Phantom of Liberty”. In a series of vignettes, one character from the first moves into the second, another from the second to the third and so on, carrying the thread of the Phantom of Liberty from one absurdist context to the next. Each episode is more outlandish than the last provoking questions about the stability of accepted social norms of the time. “Chance governs all thing; necessity which is far from having the same purity, comes only later,” (L.B.)
2020 Reflection: Luis Buñuel’s Phantom of Liberty peers into our future. Attending the social upheaval of 2020, a lay Statue of Liberty.