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Inhabit

Janine Antoni (Bahamian, born 1964). Inhabit, 2009. Digital chromogenic color print, edition: 2/3 plus 2 artist's proofs, 116 1/2 x 72 inches (296 x 183 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Charles Clifton Fund, 2010 (P2010:5). © Janine Antoni. Image courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine. New York.

© Janine Antoni. Image courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

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Janine Antoni

Bahamian, born 1964

Inhabit, 2009

digital chromogenic color print

Edition: 2/3 plus 2 artist's proofs

sheet: 116 1/2 x 72 inches (295.91 x 182.88 cm); image area: 116 1/2 x 72 inches (295.91 x 182.88 cm); framed: 119 11/16 x 75 1/8 x 3 inches (304.01 x 190.82 x 7.62 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Charles Clifton Fund, 2010

P2010:5

More Details

Provenance

the artist;
Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York;
June 29, 2010, purchased by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo

Class

Photographs
Digital prints (visual works)

Work Type

Chromogenic color print
Laser print

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Janine Antoni’s life-size photograph Inhabit explores her relationship with her family and the mystery of her role as mother. Staged in her daughter’s bedroom, the photograph shows Antoni suspended in a harness, her legs intersecting with a fully furnished doll’s house. Upon closer inspection, we see that a spider has taken up residence in the kitchen. This complex image is a composite of 160 individual photographs. Of the genesis of the work, Antoni states, “It came to me first as a very simple image. I imagined that a spider had created its web between my legs . . . from the beginning I equated the spider and its web with my daughter, and myself, the mother, with the support structure. Suddenly I thought of turning the spider's cage into a doll's house, as a way of incorporating the spider into the photograph. I now have an image that is a web within a web, a house within a house.”

The image resonates with Frida Kahlo's self-portrait Broken Column, in which the artist depicts herself in a back brace, the consequence of a bus accident she suffered at the age of 17. While Kahlo's imagery was an influence for Antoni in creating Inhabit, another art-historical reference was at the forefront of her creative process: Piero della Francesca’s Madonna della Misericordia (The Virgin of Mercy), which depicts the painting’s subject welcoming and enveloping her followers into her mantle, a space that “resembles the apse of a church,” according to Antoni. About the relationship between the two works, she states, “In my mind it is no leap to imagine the womb as primordial architecture. I'm structured so that I have room for another to dwell inside me: a quintessentially female experience. I was also thinking about the dollhouse, with its open wings, in relation to the design of religious altarpieces, which can mirror church architecture.”

Label from One Another: Spiderlike, I Spin Mirrors, March 7–June 1, 2014

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