Eleanor Antin's 100 BOOTS is a work which took 2 years to originally create, but continues to unfold 40 years later. Beginning in 1971, Antin introduced 100 black rubber boots (50 pairs) as the protagonists of her newest narrative. Within the nascent years of the 1970s, the flock of boots were thoughtfully arranged and photographically documented in a series of settings, primarily in the Southwest, from urban to rural. Each staged scene, photographed by fellow artist Philip Steinmetz, chronicled a moment in the "life" of the 100 BOOTS as they went on vacation, to church, and the market, were laid off and moved on. Subsequently each photograph, rather than being printed as a traditional gelatin silver print to be hung and sold from a gallery's white walls, was reproduced as a postcard and sent out individually by Antin to an estimated 1000 artists, critics, curators, writers and others. By doing so, Antin incorporated a method of exhibitioning into her work which navigated its own way through the art world and around traditional gallery shows. In this way, 100 BOOTS was exhibited around the world via mail and reached far larger an audience then a singular show in one place. By 1973, the last of the 51 postcards were postmarked and sent off as the 100 BOOTS journey came to a close in New York City. A complex work which defies concise categorization, 100 BOOTS is an amalgam of performance, photography and mail art which pushes the boundaries of the traditional art market. The initiative begs the questions: what makes a work of art, and more specifically for 100 BOOTS, which layer of production is the artwork? Is it the performance? The photographic images? The boots themselves? The culmination of all three in the form of a postcard?

Frequently, Eleanor Antin's 100 BOOTS is discussed and exhibited in ways which focus on the photographic images. Their history and narrative as objects is often only alluded to in an aside describing the works formulation. This exhibition however, seeks to pull back and consider the entire process and performance, from the staging of the boots to their distribution via the postal service, as the artwork which the postcards as objects continue to act out today.

Mirroring the way in which the original rubber boots were staged for photographic documentation, a complete set of the 100 BOOTS postcards has been staged and photographed throughout the Bay Area, the region in which they now reside. These documentary images suggest in a playful and exaggerated manner the way in which 100 BOOTS continues to exhibit itself through its continued travel and trade. Through such attention to the tangible nature of art objects and their relationship to their context and environment, it is our hope that this view of the 100 BOOTS' continuing narrative will renew audiences' view of Antin's artistic process and curatorial model. The re-contextualizing images, alongside high resolution documentation of each postcard's verso, are published together as an online exhibition exploring the 51 postcards as physical objects which continue the performance of 100 BOOTS.