Eve Sussman first stunned the art world with her film 89 Seconds at Alcázar, which earned critical raves at the 2004 Whitney Biennale. Sussman created her opus under the flag of the Rufus Corporation, a collaborative of artists, performers, musicians, writers, and other creative types she founded as part of a long-term project in 2003. The evocative 12-minute film was based on Diego Velázquez’s enigmatic 1656 painting Las Meninas and became the first in a series of opulent, sensory-challenging works in which the artist re-envisions masterpieces from history into large-scale operatic reenactments. “Eve Sussman | Rufus Corporation,” on view at the Bass Museum of Art (2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach), presents the artist’s breakthrough film along with The Rape of the Sabine Women, Sussman’s masterful feature-length video-musical that reinterprets the eponymous Roman legend with unforgettable grandeur. At the Bass, Sussman and her crew have re-edited the movie and are presenting it as a five-part installation simultaneously projected throughout separate museum galleries where spectators become engulfed by the onscreen action. In the sprawling production, Sussman reimagines the founding of Rome as a Cold War-era period epic in which the Romans are cast as government agents, the Sabines as a butcher’s daughters, and some of the conflicts among them unspool in a classic modern ’60s dream house overlooking the Aegean Sea.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: April 21. Continues through Aug. 11, 2013