New York

Eleanor Antin

Ronald Feldman Gallery

That Helen of Troy had a face beautiful enough to launch a thousand ships is a myth so often reiterated that it may as well be true. Interpretations of the rest of her story are more divergent: She was a true innocent, abducted by Paris against her will, for instance, or she was an immoral whore who jumped at the chance to leave behind husband and children to indulge in adulterous pleasures with no regard for the havoc she would wreak. It’s not unusual, of course, for such opposing intents to be ascribed to women, who so often serve as protagonists for thinly veiled (but overtly gendered) morality tales. Not unlike the Hitchcockian characters around whom Laura Mulvey crafted her famous argument regarding the male gaze, Helen tends to stand as the locus of action—more style than substance.

But Helen as taken up by Eleanor Antin in her series “Helen’s Odyssey,” 2007, finds unexpected new

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