- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 4, 2017

National Park Service officials are in the middle of deciding on a large request — literally and figuratively — for next month’s “Catharsis on the Mall.”

Activists who will descend on the nation’s capital from Nov. 10 to Nov. 12 say they will be able to raise $100,000 needed to construct a 45-foot-tall naked woman previously featured at the “Burning Man” festival in Nevada. Artist Marco Cochrane’s “R-Evolution” statue would greet visitors for four months if it’s given the green light.

Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the National Park Service, said the primary concern regarding the request is with safety surrounding the 16,000-pound piece of art.

“As with all First Amendment activities, our review is to ensure public safety and that park resources and values are protected; we do not take into consideration content of the message presented,” Mr. Litterst told The Washington Post on Tuesday.

Mr. Cochrane and collaborator Julia Whitelaw said they hope visitors, presuming the piece is approved, will put aside the fact that they are looking at a naked woman’s form.

“We need to show women just being in their bodies, just being humans, as an antidote of the constant sexualization of the women’s body, the constant dehumanization,” Mr. Cochrane said.

“We are asking the question: What would the world be like if women were safe?” added Ms. Whitelaw. “We are asking people to imagine that.”

“She’s asking for equal rights. That’s what it means to me,” added Natalie White of Equal Means Equal in a promotional video.

Sanam Emami, an organizer and spokeswoman for Catharsis on the Mall, told the Post that officials require someone to be on hand around the clock to monitor the sculpture.

“Catharsis on the Mall” bills itself as a community of individuals who use art to “facilitate seeing and healing for wounds in ourselves, each other and in our society.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide