New York

Eleanor Antin

Ronald Feldman Gallery

“That summer, in the first year of the reign of Titus, there appeared a small band of players who met with some success until they disappeared without trace, leaving behind one of their number.” Such are the words of Pliny the Younger that Eleanor Antin reproduced on the wall at the entrance to her latest show, “Roman Allegories.” In twelve large, exquisitely staged, and sumptuously shot tableaux, a motley cast of performers—characters include Columbine, the Lover, the Trickster, an ex-gladiator Strong Man, the Poet, and a little girl—moves through dilapidated tennis courts and nouveau-riche colonnades, poolside bacchanals and sylvan executions on a pilgrimage to the sea. These makeshift Romans bide their time by performing their fate. Antin’s idyll is unmistakably allegorical, and this is the source of the work’s interest. In her imagining, the troupe teeters on the verge of extinction

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