It’s wonderful to see passersby stop in their tracks, arrested by the cardboard shield, sword, helmet, and chain mail in our window. We have gotten compliments on every window display we’ve had since we opened the doors as Yellow Dog Bookshop and this window is no different.
From Mac McDermott, the artist:
Myrmidon Blues Cont.
History is narrative, and Homer’s Iliad is one of the most enduring and emblematic stories we are compelled to tell and retell about ourselves. Achilles is keenly aware of his opportunity to achieve immortality by becoming part of the narrative.
So that his name and deeds may outlive him, he seeks glory in a war he knows he will not survive.
I have constructed Myrmidon Blues Cont. with an aggressive and confident stance that belies the ephemeral nature of the paper, cardboard and string used to reinterpret Achilles’ panoply. I thoroughly researched Aegean Bronze Age weaponry and armor before making each object. Then, I deliberately introduced anachronistic and stylistic choices in order to replicate some of the mechanisms that cause narratives to evolve over time.
The fact that we lack any historical or archaeological evidence to confirm the existence of Achilles, or any of the Iliad’s other heroes, is irrelevant. The character…the idea…is very much alive. In the end, we are the stories we create.
I am an elementary school teacher who has spent over a decade researching Classical history, technologies, drama, archaeology, and arts. I directed six Shakespearean and Classical plays (Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides), starring my fifth graders, and we fabricated all of our own props and costumes, based on primary sources. In 2010, I wrote and directed a film adaptation of Plautus’ Menaechmi with my students. We built a forty-foot-long outdoor set recreating an ancient Roman market street and hand-sewed all of our costumes. I constructed a camera dolly and steadicam rig for the student camera operators to use during taping.
My most recent work, Myrmidon Blues Cont., is a series of objects that have been created for the filming of a music video for my band The Decks.