Freeport, Bahamas, 1964; lives in New York, United States
Janine Antoni, 1997
speakers, mirror, curtain, video-installation, variable dimensions
Janine Antoni affirms that her works have no meaning in and of themselves as objects or actions. She believes that meaning is attributed to her works by relationships she develops in the course of processes and different paths, whether in her performances, installations or sculptures. This characteristic is clearly shown in Swoon (1997), an installation made up of three environments. Entrance to the piece is through a room, where viewers come upon the backside of a stage-prop scenario, and hear heavy breathing. While exploring the space, viewers are impelled into the center of the environment, a theatrical setting in which a video projection features a pas de deux glimpsed under a partially lowered stage curtain. A mirror duplicates the scene and incorporates the visitors presence into the spectacle. Finally, behind the last set of curtains, the process of constructing the piece is revealed and the featured scene acquires a context: the grand finale of the celebrated Swan lake (1875-1876) by Tchaikovsky (1840-1893). In Antonis production, the body is omnipresent, be it actually, in performances, as index, when the artist uses it as an instrument for building the work; or indirectly, when traces of the artists body disappear and the work avails itself of the spectators body. In Swoon (1997), the relationships established between the dancers as well as between artist, venue and audience indicate that there is always something else about to be discovered or revealed.