Multiple Occupancy: Eleanor Antin’s “Selves”

(Nurse Eleanor, R.N., 1976/2007 (detail). Iris print with business card, 27 x 36 in. Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts.)

“Antin once declared, ‘I consider the usual aids to self-definition—sex, age, talent, time and space—as tyrannical limitations upon my freedom of choice.’  Her multiple personae—or ‘selves’—are of different genders, races, professions, historical contexts and geographic locations. This motley group—the deposed king, the exiled film director, ambitious ballerinas and dogged nurses—are as diverse as their stories. Some were embodied by Antin and captured in photographs and on video. Others had paper doll surrogates; at times, their existence was known only through the drawings, texts and films they had ostensibly left behind. As she explored the fleeting nature of the self, Antin used fiction, fantasy and theatricality to examine the ways that history takes shape, scrutinizing the role that visual representation plays in the process.”

via Multiple Occupancy: Eleanor Antin’s “Selves” – The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery.

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