Eleanor Antin

(b. 1935)

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(1935– )

American Performance and multimedia artist, born in New York. Her work, which frequently addresses specifically feminist issues, has constantly told of real and invented histories. This has distanced her from the more austere Conceptual artists of her generation and she has described herself as ‘post-conceptual’. In one work, 100 Boots (1971–3), she sent postcards of the adventures of a set of boots to art professionals around the world. The work was, on one level, a parody of military adventurism. One set of photographs from the work was called The Boots go to War. Antin addressed issues of feminine identity in Carving a Traditional Sculpture (1972), in which photographs recorded the effects of a 36-day-long diet. In performance, Antin has sometimes put on a beard to enact the part of the King, a benevolent but ultimately impotent ruler. The Battle of the Bluff, a performance piece presented at the Venice Biennale in 1976, was described by Antin as ‘a sweet hippie tale of how I led the old people and the very young people of Solana Beach against the developers and almost won’. Another flawed protagonist is Florence Nightingale in Antin's 1977 performance installation Angel of Mercy, visualized, as Christopher Knight puts it, as an ‘adult version of a child's imaginative dressing-up games’ (documenta 12 catalogue).

http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/7085/7085.antin.php Eleanor Antin interview with Linda Montano.

Subjects: Art.

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