Eleanor Antin: Politics & Paper Dolls | ART21 "Exclusive"

Eleanor Antin: Politics & Paper Dolls | ART21 "Exclusive"

Episode #236: Eleanor Antin discusses her use of paper dolls to create politically charged sculptures and videos. "I thought that I was finished working with paper dolls and was on to other things until those idiotic Republican debates and that insane list of characters," says Antin of "Theater of the Absurd" (2016).

Antin made numerous works with paper dolls in the 1970s, including "The Nurse and the Hijackers" (1977). The absurdly comedic video depicts a group of ecological terrorists attempting to convince oil-producing nations to help save the planet. The artist’s inclusion of paper dolls depicting deceased friends, such a Ree Morton and Elizabeth Murray, allows for reflection on her own mortality.

An influential performance artist, filmmaker, photographer, and installation artist, Eleanor Antin delves into histories—of ancient Rome, the Crimean War, the salons of nineteenth-century Europe, and her own Jewish heritage and Yiddish culture—as a way to explore the present. Antin is a cultural chameleon, masquerading in theatrics to expose her many selves.

Learn more about the artist at:

CREDITS: Director & Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Ian Forster. Editor: Morgan Riles. Camera: John Marton. Artwork Courtesy: Eleanor Antin, Electronic Arts Intermix, New York & Ronald Feldman Fine Arts.

ART21 "Exclusive" is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; 21c Museum Hotel, and by individual contributors.

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