Janine Antoni

Coddle, 1999

Cibachrome print, hand-carved frame

21 1/2 x 16 inches (54.61 x 40.64 cm)


In Coddle Janine Antoni uses the iconic image of Virgin and child to explore issues of desire, selfhood, and motherhood. She writes, "I am struck by two simultaneous desires: to hold, and to be held. I see my foot as other because it is the furthest point from my heart. To bring my leg back up into my chest not only brings me back to the fetal position but to a position of loving/remothering myself.” 

In parenthood there is a desire to take something from the inside and bring it to the outside as a way of knowing both the child and one’s self. This sentiment of material manifestation is also true for Antoni as a female sculptor. Coddle literalizes this idea of child-as-extension-of-self. Antoni’s leg is an extension of herself, albeit a melancholic stand-in.