2008, 48”(h) x 96”(w) x10”(d), Mixed-media kinetic const/assemblage
“RED”, an allegorical romp though Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s frightening tale Little Red Cap (better known as Little Red Riding Hood). In my artwork, RED, the themes of deception, disguise, fear, intrigue, sexism, predator vs. prey, victor vs. vanquished, and the theme of rescue are now transformed to the 21st Century 2008 political landscape. Little Red Riding Hood is now Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama becomes the duality of both the Wolf and the Woodsman and Bill Clinton is the Mother/Grandmother.
The artwork is constructed to look like an open book, hinged in the middle. Through the use of a series of brightly colored three-dimensional scenes containing playful objects and interactive games, I lead the viewer/participant through the revised narrative.
Red/Hillary enters the forest to bring her grandmother a bottle of wine and basket of treats (goodies needed to win the White House). She unsuspectingly believes the way to Grandma’s house is clear (road to the White House) and is unaware of the dangerous wolf/ Obama lurking along the path. The wolf utilizes subterfuge to trick Red off her path and rushes to Grandmother’s house ahead of her. He eats the grandmother (neutralizes Bill Clinton) and in disguise awaits Red’s arrival. Although Red feels a foreboding sense of doom, she enters the house and is devoured by the predatory wolf (Obama now becomes the presumptive Democratic Party nominee.) Realizing that although he has forced Hillary to yield, he now needs her support and approval to win the election. The wolf/Obama morphs into the Woodsman. He enters the house and rescues both Red and her Grandma. The wolf has neutralized his opponent and then brought Red back to help him win.
Moral of the story:
“If in this world secure you’d be,
From danger, strife, and care;
Take heed with whom you keep company,
And how–and when–and where.”
De Grummond Collection of children’s literature
Red, was “censored” from the “Banned and Recovered” Art Exhibit. Ms. Worthington was invited to create an artwork for this exhibit. The parameters were that the artist could create any work based on a censored book. She chose “Little Red Riding Hood”. The work would either be exhibited at the Oakland Public Library Gallery or at The Center for the Book in San Francisco. Since “Red” was a large artwork, the curator asked Ms. Worthington to deliver the piece to the much larger Oakland exhibition space, which could accommodate the work. A few days later, Worthington was informed that “Red” would not be exhibited in Oakland. Instead it was moved to the much smaller SF Center for The Book and placed behind an entry desk (away and separate from the art gallery). The art critics mentioned every artwork in the exhibit except for “Red”. (Ms. Worthington believes that these critics who previously loved her “George Dubya” political series deliberately ignored “Red”.) “Red” was excluded from the traveling “Banned and Recovered” exhibit, which followed the SF Bay Area showing. Why was Nancy Worthington’s Artwork, “Red” banned from the “Banned and Recovered” Art Exhibit?