Works by Marina Abramović presented in LIFE DEATH INBETWEEN exhibition highlights the mysticism of survival, painful realities of existence and find liberation in the vastness of the unknown.
The collection of works attempt an exhibition space that articulates the confronting nature and juxtaposition of living, dying and everything in between. Works on view animate the tension and dualities of these themes, inviting viewers to seek personal reflection and signification in the motifs and tableaus created by Abramović.
Marina Abramović’s performances for for video and photography, as presented at galeria horrach moyà, are tangible representations of Abramović’s own discovery of existence and non-existence within her artistic practice. LIFE DEATH INBETWEEN are consistent themes realized within her work that have continued to be present and evolve throughout her long standing career.
In Cleaning the Mirror II, a performance for video from 1995, Abramović toils with an illusion of death, laying directly under a skeleton. The skeleton moves to the rhythm of her breath – a mundane gesture that demonstrates the most fundamental act of life – breathing. The most contemporary work in the show, The Jump, taken during the filming of Abramović’s artwork Seven Deaths, freezes the sensation of falling, or floating, leaving viewers unable to feel the relief of safe landing, forced to surrender to the imagined outcome.
In Dozing Consciousness (Body) it is not clear what manifestation of existence Abramović is proposing. While her body appears nearly lifeless, buried beneath the weight of crystals, her eyes are energized and captivating, with indication that she is anything but completely alert and in control. In The Family XI, from the series 8 Lessons on Emptiness, Abramovic is powerful in stance and stature, cradling a bouquet of guns just as one would flowers, articulating the tension of life and death within the same capture.
Each artwork holds the magnitude of existence, and its contradictions – there is stillness in falling, calmness in danger, breath in suffocation, power in fear, light in dark and life within death. Abramović challenges the rational mind to wonder at the grandeur of the unknown and to surrender control. The works are brought together by the public’s individual interpretations and connections made, and it is here, where we realize the collective and anonymous nature of being alive, and even find comfort in despair. Marina Abramović’s exhibition LIFE DEATH INBETWEEN, is a space to allow oneself to discover collective connection and empowerment to grasp what comes next.
Born in the former Yugoslavia, the artist Marina Abramović is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures of our time. For four decades she has pushed the boundaries of art and led the way in the use of performance as a visual art form. The artist continually experiments and explores the limits of her mental and physical endurance and that of her audience. With her body as both subject and medium, she examines the relationship between performer and audience, resisting pain, exhaustion and danger in pursuit of emotional and spiritual transformation.
Since the beginning of her career in the early 1970s – she studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade – Abramović has redefined and promoted performance art. A key member of the pioneering generation of performance artists – Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci and Chris Burden – Abramović, one of the leading artists of radical performance, has transcended the provocative forms of her origins and created some of the best work in the genre, and is the only one who continues to create significant works.
She has won countless awards, most recently the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts in 2021, including the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the Venice Biennale in 1997, the Bessie Award for the performance The House with The Ocean View, the Austrian Commander’s Cross for her contribution to art history (2008), and an Honorary Doctorate in Art from the University of Plymouth (UK), among others.
In 2010 a major retrospective of her work was held at MoMA, including a performance of over 700 hours (The Artist is Present). In 2011 she premiered The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, a work directed by Robert Wilson and in which she shared the stage with the actor William Dafoe. In 2012 she began working at the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI), based in Hudson, New York, which is an institution that promotes and disseminates performance all over the world.