FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2017
Sanam Emami, Natalie White,
Catharsis on the Mall Launches Crowdfund to Install Giant Sculpture of Woman at the
Washington Monument for Annual Healing Vigil
With Successful Fundraising Campaign and Volunteer Commitments, “R-Evolution” Sculpture to Hold Vigil Facing White House and US Capitol From Veterans Day to February 25
WASHINGTON, DC – Catharsis on the Mall, an annual public vigil dedicated to building community by creating space for healing and transformation, which coincides with Veterans Day weekend, is fundraising for this year’s upcoming event and also for the installation of “R-Evolution.” R-Evolution a 45-foot tall sculpture of a woman, who will stand on the National Mall in front of the Washington Monument, facing the White House and Capitol Building.
R-Evolution is the third in a series of three monumental sculptures known as The Bliss Project, by artist Marco Cochrane, conceived of in collaboration with model Deja Solis. For R-Evolution, Deja stands in her strength and power. She is expressing her humanity; how she feels when she is safe, when she can just be. According to Cochrane, these sculptures are intended to demand a change in perspective. They are intended to be agents for social change. They are intended to challenge the viewer to see past the sexual charge that has developed around the female body, to the person: to de-objectify women and inspire people across the world to take action to end violence against women, create space for women’s voices and demand equal rights for all, thus allowing everyone to live fully and thrive.
“What I see missing in the world is an appreciation and respect for feminine energy and power that results when women are free and safe. It seems obvious to me that feminine energy is being suppressed and this must change,” explains Cochrane. “If we are to find lasting solutions to the problems facing humanity, men and women must be able to work together as equals.”
Artist rendering of R-Evolution on the National Mall during Catharsis
“Coming from the heart is the only way to achieve a positive future,” adds Deja Solis.
“R-Evolution and the other sculptures of The Bliss Project are a celebration of the humanity of women and our expression of self, our voices, when we are safe,” says Julia Whitelaw, Cochrane’s creative partner. “For me, R-Evolution says: I’m here. My voice is here. She’s the answer to the question: What would the world be like if women were safe? I can’t think of a more perfect place for R-Evolution than the National Mall, in the heart of the capital where people gather to speak their minds and be heard.”
“Art has the power to motivate reflection and be a catalyst for personal and social change. In times of disconnect, it can move humanity, allowing us to come together and bring forth expressions into the national discussion, but in a fun and loving way,” says Sanam Emami, artist and community organizer. “I hope by having R-Evolution on the National Mall for four months, all of our communities are inspired to cultivate art, healing, and critical social dialogue among women, and people, of all bodies, ages, races, religions, gender, abilities, and sexual orientations.”
“According to the Smithsonian, less than eight percent of monuments in the U.S. are of women,” says Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, Catharsis board member and Policy & Advocacy Director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). “R-Evolution will cultivate some much needed balance in the heart of our country, standing on America’s front lawn. Our hope is that she will inspire us to consider what it looks like for a person, especially a woman, to feel empowered and fearless. Lasting social change requires us all to stop acting from a place of fear, and instead act from a place of compassion and community.”
“We have been working with the National Park Service for over a year to meet the requirements for bringing R-Evolution to our demonstration. Being granted conditional approval is a dream come true and we are encouraged by the process,” says Robert “Roman” Haferd, Catharsis on the Mall attorney and board member. “Permit negotiations with NPS are ongoing. As is required for all vigils on the National Mall, volunteers must be with the sculpture 24 hours a day, regardless of the weather. We invite anyone who feels inspired to participate in keeping R-Evolution standing to join us.”
Organizers are currently directing those who wish to support, whether with financial resources or by volunteering, to their campaign page on Generosity.com by Indiegogo: https://catharsisonthemall.com/r-evolution
Each year the organizers select a theme to guide the vigil in its mission of healing and social change through art, celebration and community. In its inaugural year, Catharsis focused on healing from the War on Drugs, and last year, Catharsis highlighted Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the immediate wake of the election. Now in its third year, Catharsis has chosen the art theme, “Nurturing the Heart,” and along with partner Equal Means Equal, invites volunteers to continue the vigil to raise awareness about the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and promote healing and equality.
“There is a serious imbalance and its symptoms are deeply wounding for many women who feel oppressed by the notion that we are ‘less than’ our fellow male citizens,” says artist and ERA activist Natalie White, also a Catharsis board member, whose own life-sized bronze sculpture was an artistic centerpiece during Catharsis in 2016 to create awareness around the ERA. “For our nation to heal from this trauma, balance must be restored with true acknowledgement of our equality as human beings. For me, holding this vigil at the feet of R-Evolution to educate how close we truly are will be a catalyst for achieving this balance and finally getting Constitutional equality.”
Catharsis on the Mall will host 24-hour-a-day programming from Friday morning, November 10, through Sunday morning, November 12, and will feature unique displays of community art, interactive experiences for all ages, lectures, discussions, workshops, music, unstructured spaces intended to facilitate the healing arts, and a ceremonial burn kicking off the women-led vigil that will last through winter.
In addition to the National Park Service, Catharsis on the Mall is proud to have the support of several other key partners working to make this year’s programming and installation of “R-Evolution” possible, including The Bliss Project, the Bronner Family, Burning Man Project, DCMJ, Equal Means Equal, Flux Foundation, and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Catharsis is co-created by dozens of core volunteers, artists, and activists; and thousands of participants. It is one of the only events ever permitted to burn a structure on the National Mall and allow amplified music for 24 hours, allowing the public to dance from sunset to sunrise. Note: “R-Evolution” will not be burned as an effigy on the National Mall. A separate sculpture will be burned at this year’s vigil subject to final permits issued the week before the Catharsis begins.
For more information about R-Evolution and The Bliss Project, please visit: http://www.marcocochranesculpture.net/r-evolution/
For more information about Catharsis on the Mall, please visit: http://catharsisonthemall.com
For more information about the Equal Rights Amendment, please visit: http://www.equalrightsamendment.org/
For more information, spokesperson quotes, and photos from Catharsis on the Mall and its partners, please see the media kit here: https://goo.gl/S4H7Hq
For interview requests of Catharsis on the Mall organizers, artists, and its partners, please contact spokesperson Sanam Emami at 929-269-5573, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please follow Catharsis on the Mall on social media:
Facebook @catharsisonthemall – Twitter @catharsisonthemall – Instagram @catharsisonthemall