Eleanor Antin
100 BOOTS Facing the Sea
Del Mar, California, February 9, 1971 2:00pm
Mailed: March 15, 1971
Black and white photograph
Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

100 Boots: The Transmission and Reception (1979)

Eleanor Antin’s 100 Boots: The Transmission and Reception (1979) is a conceptual series of postcards depicting black rubber boots displayed across the American landscape. Antin arranged the fifty pairs of boots as different scenes in each postcard to collectively form a picaresque novel. In the spirit of Fluxus, she mailed the postcards to artists, curators, dancers, critics, and writers from 1971–1973. Antin’s use of the postal system to disseminate her art served as a critique of the art world, the distribution of artworks, and the economy of the art market. The postcards, boots, and photographs were first exhibited in 1973 at the Museum of Modern Art. While the exhibition primarily functioned as an institutional critique, it also sought to challenge historical definitions of the art object. Subsequently, Franklin Furnace curated the exhibition 100 Boots: The Transmission and Reception (1979), which included a postmarked set of the series and unpublished notes Antin received from postcard recipients.

ELEANOR ANTIN is a pioneering performance artist, filmmaker, and installation artist. Antin’s groundbreaking work such as 100 Boots (1971–1973), CARVING: A Traditional Sculpture (1972), The King of Solana Beach (1972–1975), The Adventures of a Nurse (1976), The Angel of Mercy (1977), and Recollections of My Life with Diaghilev (1979) are frequently referred to as classics of feminist, conceptual, and postmodern art. Her one-woman exhibitions have been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, and Long Beach Museum of Art. A thirty-year retrospective of Antin’s artwork was presented at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and was later exhibited at venues across the United Kingdom. Her artwork is included in collections at the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Jewish Museum, and Tate Modern. Monographs on Antin’s work include Eleanor Antin: Historical Takes (2008) and Multiple Occupancy: Eleanor Antin’s “Selves” (2014). Antin is the recipient of the AICA International Association of Art Critics award, Guggenheim Fellowship award, and National Foundation for Jewish Culture Media Achievement Award. She received an honorary doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Antin is Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego.