SEGMENT: Eleanor Antin in "Humor"

From "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 2 (2003)

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Release date

October 1, 2003

About

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.”