Violet and Judith: Political Prisoners, 1995
video projection, text and photograph
Although Jacobsen's installation is located here, it is conceptually connected to a painting in another location in the museum. That work, by Artemesia Gentileschi, a female Italian artist of the 17th century, is reproduced here.
The fact that the installation is physical separated from the actual painting is meant to criticize the museum's predominant representation of male artists. We are invited to verify the lack of work by female artists by passing through several areas of the museum to where Gentileschi's painting hangs in gallery W232.
There is provocative social commentary in Jacobsen's juxta-position of her work with Gentileschi's. Both are about women who have murdered men, but society's response to their acts is different.
Gentileschi's painting refers to the Old Testament story of Judith, honored as a heroine for killing an enemy to save her village from oppression. Jacobsen's installation tells the story of Violet Allen, imprisoned for killing her husband to protect her daughter from sexual abuse.
Projection screen courtesy of Allied Vision, Troy, MI
Video projection: Audio-Video Showcase, Ann Arbor, MI
To the next artist...