nude statue on mall mockup

Screengrab via Catharsis Onthemall/Vimeo

Statue of giant nude woman might be coming to the National Mall

The statue would be part of the annual 'Catharsis on the Mall' event.

Oct 3, 2017, 6:46 pm

IRL

David Britton 

David Britton

A 45-foot-high statue of a naked woman may soon be displayed on the National Mall.

The statue would be part of “Catharsis on the Mall” in November. It’s an annual art and culture event that takes place on the National Mall, and and has been called “Burning Man” for Washington, D.C.

The statute in question was created by artist Marco Cochrane and is called R-Evolution. It depicts singer-songwriter Deja Solis in what, in yoga, is known as a “mountain pose.” It was originally created for for Burning Man in 2015.

R-Evolution at Burning Man

Although some might see any form of nudity as inherently sexual, the artist said that is the opposite of the point he’s trying to make. “We need to show women just being in their bodies,” Cochrane told the Washington Post, “just being humans, as an antidote of the constant sexualization of the women’s body, the constant dehumanization.”

He added that Solis not only posed for the statute, but chose the positions in which she would be portrayed.

Cochrane’s partner and collaborator, Julia Whitelaw, hopes people viewing the statue will “see her humanity first.”

“We are asking the question: What would the world be like if women were safe?” she said. “We are asking people to imagine that.”

Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the National Park Service, said the agency is reviewing permits for the statue, calling it’s placement “probable.” If permitted, this would be the first time a statue of this nature would make such a long-term appearance on the Mall. Although the event only runs Nov. 10-12, organizers are hoping the statue will be up through March.

“As with all First Amendment activities, our review is to ensure public safety and that park resources and values are protected; we do not take into consideration content of the message presented,” Litterest wrote in an email to the Washington Post.

Part of that public safety requirement would be a 24-hour monitoring of the statue. Volunteers would be needed to stand outside for four months during the coldest time of the year.

“Catharsis on the Mall” also hopes the vigil will bring attention to the Equal Rights Amendment, which is detailed on its fundraising page.

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a Constitutional amendment originally proposed in 1923, designed to guarantee equal rights to all Americans, regardless of sex, and end discriminatory legal distinctions. In 1972, the ERA was passed by both houses of Congress but fell three states short of the 38 necessary to ratify the Constitutional amendment. Thirty-five years later, this past March of 2017, Nevada became the 36th state to ratify. Now the ERA is only two states short of the 38 needed for full Constitutional Equality.  We will be holding a 24-hour vigil for four months to generate awareness and education about the Equal Rights Amendment.

The statue, which weighs around 16,000 pounds, is stored in a warehouse outside San Francisco, and would need to be moved across the country for the event. No small task with something of this size. According the fundraising page, “The total cost to transport, install, insure, and support the sculpture’s presence on the Mall is estimated to be $150,000.”

H/T Washington Post

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*First Published: Oct 3, 2017, 6:46 pm