Marina Abramovic – Videoworks

Published on May 9th, 2003

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From 09-05-2003 until 05-07-2003

The Netherlands Media Art Institute in cooperation with the World Wide Video Festival, is organizing a solo exhibition of Marina Abramovic. In addition to a number of new works, a retrospective of her previous work will also be presented.

Since the beginning of her career in Belgrade in the early 1970s, Marina Abramovic has been active in performance art as a visual art form. Her body is both her subject and her medium. To investigate her physical and mental limits she undergoes extreme pain, exhaustion, danger and emotional and spiritual transformations. For Abramovic performance means a direct exchange of energy with her audience. She seeks to initiate this exchange in as personal a manner as possible. With her ‘Transitional Objects’ Abramovic tries to actively involve her audience in her performances. ‘People only change through their own experience.’ Since 1976 Abramovic has used video to catch the transitory character of her work. For her, her performances, installations and videos are objects of reflection in which people can recognize themselves.

During the exhibition in the Netherlands Media Art Institute – the gallery where Abramovic has worked on her artworks since her arrival in The Netherlands – both old and new work will be presented. The ‘Performance Anthology Abramovic-Ulay’ (1976-1987) will show a liberal selection of never-before-shown recordings of performances by Abramovic and Ulay. In many of her performances Abramovic used her head as her starting point. Sixteen of these performances are now being presented in The Netherlands for the first time in ‘Portrait Gallery’ (1975-2003). In ‘Mambo’ (2003 version) Abramovic invites the visitor to dance the mambo with her on a special magnetic floor. Inspiration and tranquillity are to be found in the installation ‘At the Waterfall’ (2003): 106 heads of Tibetan monks and nuns will form a waterfall of sound and image with their songs and portraits. The installation ‘The Spirit House’ (1997) consists of five separate videos that reflect different aspects of a person – a woman. The original setting of ‘The Spirit House’ was in a slaughterhouse in Portugal. Abramovic closed the main entrance and hung up a sign with the words ‘The Spirit House’. The installation as a whole is symbolic of the (spiritual) cleansing of the body.

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