"Art making is a form of alchemy, in a way, because you are trying…to make gold from nothing. When it works very well is when you manage to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary."
From "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 2 (2003)
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Eleanor Antin is at work on her photographic series "The Last Days of Pompeii," a commentary on the affluent residents of the paradise of La Jolla, California. There is a comparison to be made, Antin explains, “between America, as this great colonial power, and one of the early great colonial powers, Rome.” In her highly-theatrical films, photographs, and performance art, Antin draws from the childhood play, an infatuation with stand-up and slapstick comedy, and the tragic humor that is part of her Jewish heritage. “I always tend to see the funny side of things,” she says. “That’s the richest experience, when it’s the laughter and it’s the tears together.”