Kathryn Anderson- Janine Antoni

Kathryn Anderson

Janine Antoni

March 6, 2012

When I first walked into the auditorium Antoni had images of her own nipple impression and baby bottle nipple impression projected onto the screen.  At first it wasn’t clear what I was looking at and this questioning created a build up and anticipation for the lecture to begin so I could discover what was being blown up so large on the projector.  There was a buzz with the people around me all wondering what the images were and what they could possibly mean.  Once Janine began to speak she explained that these images were representations of separation of baby from mother, no longer solely relying on the mother and moving on to material needs the stage was set for the rest of the lecture.  This image was one of Antoni’s early works and left a great impression on me for that same theme of materials, separation and progression would move on with her through out the other pieces of art we would see.

Janine Antoni’s work really connected various aspects of her life ranging from her relationship to her mother and insecurity of separation to her love for her child.  Antoni also carried an appreciation of using her own body as a tool through out all of her work.  The way she connected this ideas was very influential and sincere.  I really admired that even though Janine changed as an artist throughout her life she carried the main central themes of her life throughout. I think the most interesting aspect of her work was she didn’t just want to create art to make something beautiful, she was making art because it meant something to her.  It was a reminder of her mother or daughter or her own body.  There was something behind being a physical participant in each of her pieces whether that was blinking in 1142 Butterfly Kisses or Loving Care swooping her hair across the floor mimicking mopping and moving people out of the room.  She uses the same hair dye that she remembers her mother using while she was a child.  She is connecting herself to her mother and reliving a childhood memory, one in which everyone had to leave the room when Antoni’s mother began to sweep the kitchen.  This act signified power and obedience to Antoni.  She had the capacity to make everyone leave the room as the hair dye took over the exhibition space.  Based on the way she is infatuated with her mother and than herself and than her daughter it seems there is a true connection and tie and can be made to the life cycle and the beauty in each stage. I think the narrative the artist creates is a life cycle.

An example of her love and connection to her daughter lies within the piece “Inhibit”.  This work photograph Antoni herself built into a playhouse.  Within the play house was miniature versions of all of the furniture and a spider.  Antoni explains that the spider like a mother has a delicate task of building a web, like a mother has a delicate task of creating a safe and loving home.  She suspends herself in a harness that looks like a web while the spider builds a web inside of the doll house.  There are all these elements of safety, support and security, which can also be found within a family.

One of Antoni’s pieces that I really enjoyed and connected with was the one with the cow, 2038.  This photo was really emotional because it tied Antoni to nature and it made it seem like she was giving back to cow through her breast milk the way that humans drink cows milk.  I found the way she looks very relaxed in the photo contributes to the fact that she is at one with animal nature.  She is completely at ease and not at all offended by the cow invading her personal space.  Its all about them having a moment in this picture.

I think the artist intention is to make awareness around family connections and the ties between various aspects of life.  I think it can be viewed by many audiences and still have a great impression on any age or life stage.  The lecture was very helpful in understanding her work.  Before I heard her speech I was hesitant about her art and once I understood her perspective I could relax a lot more and take in her message more.  She clearly explained her feelings and blatantly pointed out the ties in themes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: