Janine Antoni: Up Against

Department of Art Fall 2009 Lecture Series

Janine Antoni, who was born in Freeport, Bahamas, creates sculptures and installations that use intimate, labor-intensive processes that leave the history of her body’s interaction on materials such as chocolate, lard, soap, hair dye, limestone, cow hide, and raw hemp. Through these direct interactions, Antoni creates performative objects that explore femininity, consumption, and many other aspects of the human condition. Her newest large-scale installation, Tear, consists of a wrecking ball and a projected video of her eye. Antoni built the wrecking ball out of lead — a soft metal. Unlike a typically hard steel ball, this ball was scarred through the act of demolition. Audio from the demolition was edited to correspond to the blinking of Antoni’s eye.

She has received awards from the MacArthur, Joan Mitchell, and Larry Aldrich foundations. Antoni has exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad at venues including Luhring Augustine Gallery, the Wadsworth Athenaeum, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Reina Sofia, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Stockholm Konsthall. Her work has been included in numerous international biennials including those in Venice, Johannesburg, Istanbul, and Kwangju, Korea, as well as those in the U.S. at the Whitney, SITE Santa Fe, and Prospect.1 in New Orleans. Most recently, she had a solo show at Luhring Augustine Gallery in New York. Antoni received her a bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a master of fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design.