Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Hans Haacke | Scylla and Charybdis

Hans Haacke 
Scylla and Charybdis
Self-published, 1966 
60.96 × 20.32 × 12.7 cm.
Edition of 11

In Greek mythology, Scylla and Charybdis are two immortal and irresistible monsters. Scylla is a beast with six heads on long necks, each with a triple row of sharklike teeth. Charybdis is a creature that causes deadly whirlpools, or in some accounts is a whirlpool. Being "between Scylla and Charybdis" is an idiom along the lines of "choosing the lesser of two evils" or two similarly dangerous situations. 

The difference between the auction images of this work from May 2022, and the image of the copy in the Yale University Art Gallery collection (bottom) may explain why the lot - with an estimated value of between $7,000 and $10,000 USD - remained unsold. 

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