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Janine Gordon

Plant your feet on the ground and propel

Not on view



Gelatin silver print

Sheet: 30 3/16 × 44 13/16in. (76.7 × 113.8 cm) Frame: 31 11/16 × 46 3/16 × 1 3/4in. (80.5 × 117.3 × 4.4 cm)

Accession number


Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Photography Committee

Rights and reproductions
© artist or artist’s estate

In her Mosh Pit series, Janine Gordon captures the unique combination of thrashing violence and graceful motion that occurs in a punk-rock concert's mosh pit—a crowd that forms spontaneously when audience members dance and throw themselves against each other with Dionysian abandon. In this grainy, black-and-white photograph, the frenzied action is stilled and the young men's bodily gestures suspended at moments of powerful, self-expressive beauty: one man is caught mid-dance, another is apparently restraining the pair next to him, and a third looks straight at the camera, frozen. "I become part of the pit and ad-lib when I shoot it," explains Gordon. "I'm still moshing—I have to or I'll get hurt. I do find the pits frighteningly sexual, but it's the thrill of the moment that leads me there in the first place."   

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