Color photographs, prismacolor, acrylic wash, ink, paper
Courtesy of Nyehaus Gallery
This work is from
The Holocaust Project: From Darkness to Light
an eight-year collaboration with Donald Woodman that pre-
miered in 1993. In the 1980s, Chicago and Woodman witnessed
a protest march at Dachau by gay men demanding to have their
suffering at the hands of the Nazi’s noted and commemorated.
Pansy Crucifixion” links historic cruelty with the worldwide
disease that kills gay men. The three figures are inside a pink
triangle – the Nazi symbol used for homosexuals. Kaposi’s
sarcoma lesions, associated with HIV/AIDS, are represented
by a shower of pansies, visually similar to the cancer lesions.
Pansy” remains a derogatory term for gay or effeminate men.
Mahakalah + Consort + Pomegranates
Oil, acrylic, emulsion, ash, canvas
Mahakala + Consort + Pomegranates
combines Indian and
Jewish spirituality. Mahakala holds his female consort
against him, symbolizing the unification of the male and
female principles. Each figure has six arms, the number
symbolizing creation in Kabbalah. This twelve-armed
embrace symbolizes the mating of male and female forces
in the act of creation. On a table in front of the couple
are three pomegranates, two are whole, one is cut in half.
The whole pomegranates represent the duality of male and
female, whole entities in and of themselves. The Kabbalah
as well as traditional Indian philosophy expound the
concept that duality is an illusion. Only the open, central
pomegranate – an ideal spiritual merger of male and
female – truly exists.