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Q: How did performance-piece artist Eleanor Antin explore gender definitions and construction? Answer Photographing herself in Hollywood roles Deepening her voice with a harmonizer Casting
herself as both genders in her plays Adopting historical personae and disguises
A: During the 1970s Antin started creating other selves, or person?, through which she began to explore limitations of age, gender, race, class and ethnicity. [ In 1972 Antin created the King, a benevolent monarch who is Antin in disguise, exploring her ?male? and ?political? selves, strolling through Antin?s surfing kingdom in Solana Beach, California. Antin realized she did not need to change her
sex to become a man, only her gender, and would say later she found it easier to believe in, and act on, the American dream of self-invention living in San Diego than in New York. Antin?s second persona, the Ballerina, appears as a white ballerina who cannot really dance, and with characteristic deadpan humor Antin will say of her nameless icon, ?I?m a terrific ballerina standing still.? Despite her limitations and lack of talent, the Ballerina is cast by Antin in a 1973 video installation Caught in the Act, which includes a series of photographs, Choreography I, II, and III, arranged in serial sequence like the photographs of Eadweard Muybridge. Antin?s third persona is a Nurse, who stars in Antin?s first feature-length movie, The Adventures of a Nurse, made in 1976, followed by The Nurse and the Hijackers, 1977. Antin relies on two American cultural genres, the soap opera and the adventure movie, to create these comic melodramas, but Antin?s true intention was to raise deeper questions about the subservience of women in modern American society, and how stereotypes foster limited and prejudiced life models. ]
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Asked 9/15/2013 12:26:55 PM
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