"It was quite a beautiful process, learning to walk on the rope." -Janine Antoni
I was exploring PBS' Art 21 today. It's an amazing site with artists, slide shows, videos, very interesting ideas, links, and even lesson plans for teachers with topics like: abstraction & realism, home & displacement, individuals & collectives, labor & craftsmanship, the natural world, public & private space, ritual & commemoration, technology & systems, and war & conflict.
I was particularly interested in Janine Antoni's work on the "Moor" which was a beautiful rope crafted from fibers and materials donated to her by friends and family. A lot of people gave her materials from friends who had passed away. Giving them to her to put into the rope is like giving them another life. The rope became a connection between people and people and their memories and stories.
While working on this piece Janine got an idea about tightrope walking, so she called up a tightrope walker named Kevin O’Keefe and asked him if he could teach her. He said, "Oh yeah, walking on the wire is just like walking meditation."
So Janine practiced tightrope walking for about an hour a day and after a week she began to feel like she was getting her balance. But as she paid closer attention she started to notice that it wasn’t that she was getting more balanced, but that she was getting more comfortable with being out of balance. "...rather than getting nervous and overcompensating by leaning too much to one side I could compensate just enough. And I thought, I wish I could do that in my life when things are getting out of balance. I sort of learned that I could just breathe in and sort of set myself back up onto the rope. The other thing that was really fascinating is I started to learn the bottom of my feet in a way that I had never learned before. ...It was quite a beautiful process, learning to walk on the rope."
Thanks to Art for Housewives for the link to Janine Antoni.
"Moor" by Janine Antoni.
Happy Mother's Day!!