Eleanor Antin, who has worked in film, video, photography, installation, writing and performance since the 1960s, uses fictional characters, autobiography and narrative to invent histories and explore what she calls, "the slippery nature of the self." In her performance-based video works, Antin uses role-playing and artifice as conceptual devices, adopting archetypal personae — a ballerina, a king, a nurse — in her theatrical dramatizations of identity and representation.
Antin was born in New York City in 1935. She studied art at The High School of Music & Art in New York, and received a B. A. in creative writing and art at City College of New York in 1958. Her work has been exhibited in solo shows at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Jewish Museum, New York, and the Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York, among others. Antin has also participated in many group exhibitions, at venues such as the Brooklyn Museum, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia, for the 2002 Sydney Biennale; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., and the 37th Venice Biennale.
Antin has been honored with several retrospectives of her work, including "Multiple Occupancy: Eleanor Antin's 'Selves,'" held at the Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York in 2013. In 2000, a survey of Antin's work was on view at the Washington University Gallery of Art in St. Louis, Missouri and in 1999, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 2006, Antin received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the College Art Association and a Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts Award from the Women's Caucus for Art, and was also awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 1997. She is currently Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego.
Antin lives and works in San Diego, CA.