new-york

Mary Beth Edelson

Creative Time

For three months, a blazing pink banner that read “COMBAT ZONE: Campaign HQ Against Domestic Violence” hung across the facade of a SoHo storefront. With its two independent entryways, one opening onto Broadway’s array of cut-rate kitchenware, shoe, and electronic warehouses and the other onto SoHo, COMBAT ZONE straddled the worlds of the art-viewing elite and the everyday pedestrian.

Conceived and coordinated by artist Mary Beth Edelson, the multimedia installation was a reaction to what the artist considered the public apathy surrounding the Lorena Bobbitt case. Edelson felt that the media desensitized the public to domestic violence by sensationalizing the husband’s castration. Rather than crying victim (a tactic that has met with little sympathy in the art world, as evidenced in the plethora of negative responses to the 1993 Whitney Biennial), COMBAT ZONE empowered women through direct

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