ד”ר נאוה סביליה שדה
חוקרת אמנות, אוצרת, מרצה

Street Maenadism: Features and Metaphors of Dionysian Ritual in the Work Ever is Over All by Pipilotti Rist, Source: Notes in the History of Art Volume 37 n. 1, 2017, pp. 60-70.

Sevilla Sadeh, N., “Street Maenadism: Features and Metaphors of Dionysian Ritual in the Work Ever is Over All by Pipilotti Rist”, Source: Notes in the History of Art Volume 37 n. 1, 2017, pp. 60-70.

Maenad carrying a thyrsus, by Macron, fragment of an Attic red figure cup, ca. 480 BC, Louvre Museum Public Domain

Maenadism in Antiquity was a phenomenon both manifested in myth and experienced in the life of women, in rituals dedicated to Dionysus. The maenadic dance was of a violent nature, comprising repeated hysterical shaking of the head and body and loss of the senses. The height of this activity was the moment of falling to the ground that embodied the total merging with the divinity. Features of Dionysian ritual, mostly of maenadism, can be discerned in the video work Ever is Over All by the Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist. The analysis of the work in comparison to maenadism in Antiquity is aimed at revealing metaphors of present-day initiation. This study employs the Classical reception studies methodology, referring to ancient texts and visual references as well as to contemporary thought.

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