Los Angeles

Eleanor Antin

Long Beach Museum of Art

If Karras, Adams, and Miyatake address the role of the expatriate, Todd and Benston the romance of the expatriated, how do I describe Eleanor Antin’s position? In her installation and videotape The Nurse and the Hijackers, she tackles more problems in art than any other artist threatens, and, more often than not, she immobilizes her opposition.

Let’s say video art has two tendencies: television-as-information and television-as-diversion. (Allow the work of Ira Schneider to represent the former, the work of William Wegman the latter.) Antin would fall into the latter category. But her videotapes have always had more in common with the narrative structure of movies than with the sitcom or commercial. The Nurse and the Hijackers is Antin’s Airport ’78. With paper-doll characters and a cast of dozens, Antin serves as the voice and the operator of all the dolls’ movements. Since the “sets” used

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