27. February 2011 to 22. May 2011

For New York artist Janine Antoni (born 1964) the most important means of expression is her own body, as she transforms everyday activities such as eating, sleeping and taking a bath into actions that straddle sculpture and performance art. The open-ended nature and process quality of her works, which literally merge life and art, are essential to the artist. In her video installation titled Touch (2002) Janine Antoni appears as a tightrope walker against the backdrop of a summery beach panorama, balancing herself on a tightrope that seems like a line stretched right above the sea’s horizon. The huge distance between beach and horizon is contained in this illusory image, as the acrobat’s weight causes the rope to merge with the horizon. Dressed in sky-blue clothes, it is as if she were actually walking on water and striding up and down a classical seascape. Janine Antoni had to go through months of intense practice to learn to walk a tightrope. As the set for her performance she chose the beach in front of her parents’ home in Freeport, Bahamas. Her balancing act thus takes place in
front of the same horizon which during the artist’s childhood on the Caribbean island of Grand Bahama had appeared to her as a distant destination. The view of the sea which, ever since Romanticism, also serves as a projection surface for man’s frame of mind, here becomes a symbolic stage of life. For while allabout focusing on maintaining one’s equilibrium, the acrobatic high-wire act at the same time alludes to the perils and possible shipwrecks of human existence. Janine Antoni has shown her work in numerous prominent museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York as well as the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, and has been included in various international biennials.