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MacArthur Award-Winning Performance Artist Janine Antoni

Janine Antoni, a performance artist and renowned maker of highly crafted sculptures, will discuss the intersections of artworks and the human body as part of an interdisciplinary series of lectures entitled “Muscle Memory” at the Lewis Center for the Arts.  The lecture will take place on Wednesday, November 14 at 12:30 p.m. in the Lewis Center’s Patricia and Ward Hagan ’48 Dance Studio, 185 Nassau Street.  Cosponsored by the Programs in Dance and Visual Arts, the talk is free and open to the public.

Janine Antoni received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in 1986 and an M.F.A. in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. Since then she has mounted major exhibitions throughout the U.S. and Europe and won prestigious awards, most notably a MacArthur Fellowship in 1998 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011.  Some of her earliest works—Gnaw (1992), Loving Care and Slumber (both 1993), transformed daily rituals of eating, washing and sleeping into extreme acts: in Gnaw, chewing on two 600-pound cubes, one made of chocolate and the other of lard, from which she then created chocolate boxes and lipstick tubes displayed in a mock store front;  in Loving Care, mopping a gallery floor with her hair saturated in hair dye and pushing viewers out of the gallery space in the process; and in Slumber, sleeping on a bed in public, at night registering her brain waves on an electroencephalograph, and, during the day, duplicating the patterns by weaving them into a blanket that she then slept under.  In another work, Moor, she created a long rope from unusual and often personal items donated by friends and relatives, twisting the materials together to create a metaphorical lifeline uniting a disparate group of people into a unified whole.

“Janine works on any one project over a number of years, conducting interdisciplinary research, and experimenting with how to make her interests visible in tangible, even visceral, ways,” according to Joe Scanlan, Director of the Program in Visual Arts.

“Her work boldly explores themes of materiality, process, intimacy, and the body,” adds Susan Marshall, Director of the Program in Dance.

Antoni's solo exhibitions include Slip of the Tongue at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow (1995), Swoon at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (1998), and Taught Tether Teeter at SITE Santa Fe in New Mexico (2002).  Her work has also appeared in the Venice Biennale (1993), Whitney Biennial (1993), Face-Off: The Portrait in Recent Art at the Institute of Contemporary Art of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (1994), Johannesburg Biennale (1995), Open Ends: Minimalism and After at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2002), and Moving Pictures at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2002).

This lecture series is part of dance and visual arts courses entitled “Muscle Memory” being taught in tandem at the Lewis Center by Susan Marshall, Director of the Program in Dance, and Joe Scanlan, Director of the Program in Visual Arts.  Both dance and sculpture students are creating performed movements informed by sculptural objects, more often than not in unconventional settings. The class meets twice weekly as one unit, although it often breaks up into different art-making and rehearsal sessions. Work that is being created by students in the courses will be presented in January in the Lewis Center’s Lucas Gallery.

Link to photo:
Photo caption:  Artist Janine Antoni at work
Photo credit:  Photo courtesy of Janine Antoni

Event Information


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

12:30 PM

Free and open to the public

Patricia and Ward Hagan '48 Dance Studio

Lewis Center for the Arts
at 185 Nassau Street



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