Janine Antoni

To Draw A Line, 2003

4000 lbs raw hemp fiber, 120 ft handmade hemp rope spliced into 1200 ft of machine made hemp rope, 2 recycled steel reels, 140 lead ingots with a total weight of 13,300 lbs, 2 steel ramps with a 20% incline, 4 steel and rubber laminated chocks

35 x 20 x 10 feet (10.67 x 6.1 x 3.05 m)

To Draw a Line is a engineering feat of tenuous balance, likewise Antoni's performance parallels that precarious state. The sculpture is made with two nine-foot steel reels placed on inclined planes linked by hemp rope. The reels are weighed down with 6 tons of lead ingots. A pile of raw hemp lays between the reels. On one reel, the hemp pile is spun into a rope. On the other reel, the rope separates to form a ladder and eventually  unravels reintegrating itself into the heap of raw hemp. In the center of the taunt rope there is a splice where the industrial rope meets the handmade rope. 

Antoni walked the rope to its center and balance on the splice for as long as she could manage, inevitably falling the 7 1/2 feet into the cloud of hemp fiber. Thus the same material that held her up also cradled her fall.