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Eleanor Antin 100 Boots postcard
1971

accession no. 126.1.40 in 1971 Antin devised 100 Boots, a conceptual work that bypassed the traditional gallery system by using the US postal service as a means of distribution. For this piece, Antin literally placed 100 boots in different Southern California settings and had the boots photographed in each scene. In this way, she created an ambiguous visual narrative that could be followed through the sequence of presentation. The photographs were printed as postcards and the individual postcards were mailed to approximately one thousand artists, writers, dancers, critics, libraries and art institutions at irregular intervals. These time intervals, ranging from 3 days to 5 weeks, were determined according to what Antin considered the internal necessity of the narrative. In this way, the boots became the heroic protagonists of this epic journey. The two and a half year endeavor officially became ART when they arrived at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for a solo exhibition from May 30 – July 8, 1973. The exhibition consisted of all 100 boots on display in their museum gallery “crash pad”, which was only viewable through a peephole and the crack of a slightly open door. The entire fifty-one black-and-white postcards, along with 21 new photographs of the boots in various settings around New York City, were hung in the galleries surrounding the crash pad a series of photos of 100 boots was taken and then mailed as postcards. offset 11.4 x 17.8 cm

(Photo: Morris / Trasov Archive)