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Off the Wall

Nancy Spero's Torture of Women in book form.

Book Cover Siglio Press’s publication of Torture of Women, created by renowned (feminist) artist Nancy Spero, who died in 2009, is the reiteration in well-designed and printed book form of her 1976 creation.

Originally a 125-foot work “juxtaposing testimony by female victims of torture with startling imagery from the ancient world,” Siglio Press has rendered it in a hundred-page tome, which includes illuminating textual embellishments such as “Fourteen Meditations of Torture of Women by Nancy Spero” by Diana Nemiroff; “Symmetries,” a story by Luisa Valenzuela; and an excerpt from The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World by Elaine Scarry.

Artist Kiki Smith writes in tribute:
Nancy used the gestural language of the body to create a non-linear, serial narrative; a broken and ruptured narrative. She implied movement through accumulation, layering, and repetition of stillness. Her narratives at times moved both horizontally and vertically at the same time, suggesting simultaneity and a non-hierarchical reality. The use of images from antiquity to the contemporary, collapsed time.

During Nancy’s life there has been no subsiding of the personal and cultural violence perpetrated that is gender specific and that contaminates all of us. She was compelled and unafraid to see and address it. Now that we live in a time of global awareness her work mandates us, as artists and as citizens, not to be silenced tongues.
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