Eleanor Antin - 100 Boots

“Antin longed to construct her own modern day Odysseus and send him on a grand epic adventure (not through the vast treacheries of ancient Greece, but over the abundant California countryside).

It was in her sleep that this protagonist materialized for the first time—Antin dreamt of 100 boots facing the sea. The very next day she got to work making her vision a reality; she traveled to her local Army Navy surplus store and purchased 100 black, empty boots, all of them blank slates ready to be filled with purpose and character.

The result? 100 identical black boots that find themselves on a wily adventure; breaking laws, scaling the organic countryside, engaging in warfare and ending up in the smoke-and-steel plains of New York City. She describes the evolution of this epic visual narrative in a small introduction at the beginning of the 100 Boots book collection:

‘…We took 100 Boots down to the beach to look at the sea. We took him to the market, the bank, and the church. He seemed to be a good suburbanite. But sometimes he looked restless rounding a corner to nowhere. He began to champ at the bit, and, ignoring a ‘No Trespassing’ sign, he climbed over the chain-link-fence protecting a power transformer. He had committed his first crime and had to hit the road. He caught a ride in an old Ford Falcon. Later he reappeared in a meadow, hanging out with the cows…and 100 Boots was on his way to his next adventure.’”

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