Janine Antoni

Tear, 2008

Lead, steel, HD video projection with surround sound

Wrecking ball: 4,182 pounds, 33 inch diameter

Projection: 11 x 11 feet (335.28 x 335.28 cm)

Photographed by Larry Lamay

Tear is an installation consisting of a two–ton wrecking ball and an 11’ x 11’ projection of the artist’s eye. Antoni cast the wrecking ball out of lead, a soft metal, and used it to demolish a building. Unlike an actual wrecking ball, this one is vulnerable; each strike leaves it permanently scarred. The sound of the ball crashing against the building is synchronized with the blinks of the eye so that the lid slams shut at the precise moment of impact. 

The installation includes the eye and ball, but excludes what has been seen and hit. The wrecking ball shows the repercussions of its destructive nature on its surface, while the video isolates the act of blinking. In this way the viewer is left to consider the closing of the eye– as either an instinctive physiological reaction against danger, or as a willful turning away from what one does not want to see.