Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Janine Antoni's "Gnaw"

Janine Antoni is an artist whose work blurs the definition of sculpture and performance. Her piece Gnaw, which was completed in 1992, was featured in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Two 600-pound blocks of material, one chocolate and the other lard, were chewed or gnawed away at by Antoni over the course of a month to create sculptures. She was interested in using her body as the tool and was intrigued the way a sculptor left behind the marks of their process during the making of a piece; this aspect was clearly highlighted in Gnaw by the teeth marks that showed her process in creating the sculpture. In addition, she was intrigued by the idea of constructing a piece by the deconstruction of the material around it. She iterates this idea by creating a two part exhibition which comments on the struggle of desire that women face in society; she uses the chewed up chocolate that was eaten away by her to create chocolate candies that women desire but fight off the urge to, and she turns the gnawed off lard into lipstick, which women use to become more desirable.

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