Janine Antoni Polich Art Works
Polich Art Works, manufacturer
Cast sterling silver of family silverware and negative impressions of artist’s mouth and mother’s hand
7.6 x 20.3 x 7.6 cm (3 x 8 x 3 inches)
Mary B. Jackson Fund 2002.19
Antoni’s artistic practice combines performance art and object making. The artist often uses her own body and physical actions to create her sculptures. For Umbilical, Antoni made a cast of a spoon from her family silver (note the monogram “A”). In addition, an imprint of the inside of the artist’s mouth is attached to the bowl of the spoon, while the handle rests on a cast of the palm of her mother’s hand. The work relates to Antoni’s ongoing exploration of personal history, family relationships,and bonding and separation as equally important elements in forming one’s identity. The intimate gestures captured in a durable, precious material such as silver become a relic that depicts the physical and emotional connection between a mother and a child.