Janine Antoni

to compose, 2015

Polyurethane resin

35 x 20 x 24 inches (88.9 x 50.8 x 61 cm)

The common gesture of learned femininity, crossing one leg over another, is an act of modesty and grace. In this work the interior bone of the right leg has been embedded into the flesh of the left leg. The successful fusion makes it impossible to unlearn this act of femininity.

The crossed legs hover on their absent chair. In classical Roman statuary the strut, a support often disguised as a tree trunk, helps the figure to stand upright.  This tree trunk tethers the ungrounded gesture.

We tend to narrow the base of women. Again and again, we see this in crossed legs, high heels, and toe shoes. We associate the feminine with weightlessness, poise and the ethereal.  Yet, we know that the most stable forms come from the broadened base, the grounded, the rooted.