Marina Abramović Balkan Erotic Epic




Marina Abramović Biography and Artwork


She began her artistic studies in the mid 60's in her birthplace of Belgrade, continued and finished them in Croatia, returning to teach Fine Art in Serbia in 1973.  Ever since her debut with the well-known Rhythm (1973/74) series, framed as a bold, hazardous exploration of Body Art, the young Abramović was testing, on one hand, the body's limits in the face of physical pain, suffering, self-harm and, on the other, the moral resistance of the public to feel her world through those very personal experiences of her female body. It was a work in, on and of her body.


The different variations of 
Rhythm used embodiment to reflect on universal themes such as death, pain, sorrow, time, the limits of consciousness and unconsciousness,  not to mention the behavioral patterns of the mind. Likewise, in  Rhythm 2, she experimented with the varying states of lucidity and loss of corporal control produced by the ingestion of a range of different pills.  In Rhythm 0, one of her most emblematic performances, Abramović literally put herself at the public's disposition.


Marina Abramovic artistic output centred around an unclassifiable dual manifestation of her art in productive and emotional conjunction with her lover, the German artist and photographer Uwe Laysiepen, better known as Ulay. In a series entitled The OtherAbramović and Ulay performed numerous performance works as a duo in which their bodies – always synchronised, dressed (or undressed) identically and with similar behavioural patterns – created additional ways in which to interact with the public.  Based on a professional and sentimental relationship of absolute trust, both liked to speak of an "androgynous unity" whose actions personified the limits of interpersonal relationships, their effect on the "I", the ego and artistic personae.  





The "The Other" series, as much a passionate romance as an artistic collaboration, had as its symbolic finale the famous staging of 1988's The Lovers. Here too, their emotional and professional rupture was played out as a work of art, portrayed as a hike, each on their own, departing from opposite ends of the Great Wall Of China until meeting up again in the middle.


Even more striking,  given the eponymous violence of the time, was Balkan Baroque (1997) which won the Gold Lion award at the Venice Biennale that same year, the Festival's highest prize. Expanding on the theme of the human skeleton, previously explored in Cleaning the Mirror (1995), Abramović used video installation to recreate the putrefying horror of armed conflict in the Balkans War. As well as projecting an image of her own parents on the walls, the artist positioned herself in the middle of the space, washing a huge pile of 1500 raw, bloodied veal bones whilst singing traditional folk songs from her childhood. The dramatic staging no doubt owed a lot to the conceptual baroque of her design but also lent it sincere and credible political weight.

The artist is present, an exhausting performance piece presented in March 2010 on the occasion of a MoMa retrospective of her entire back catalogue which remains, to date, the most important ever and, with more than 50 exhibit pieces including  performances, installations, videos, photographs and collaborations along with the subsequent documentary of the same name. For three whole months, Abramović remained seated in the lobby of the New York museum for over 700 hours (during opening hours and without a break) allowing over 1,800 visitors, each in turn, one by one, to sit opposite her in total silence, separated by just a table, and to share the imperturbable presence of the artist for as long as they considered necessary. 




Source https://www.alejandradeargos.com/index.php/en/all-articles/35-artists/41451-marina-abramovic-biography-works-and-exhibitions








BALKAN EROTIC EPIC



Marina Abramovic’s exhibition is comprised of several video projections, which explore how sexuality and the human body were employed in Balkan pagan traditions and culture throughout history. Abramovic researched Serbian folklore and discovered many historic instances of the employment of eroticism and sexuality to address everyday issues. For example, if it rained too much the women of the village would run into the fields and lift their skirts in an attempt to scare the gods and end the rain. Along with amateur actors, Abramovic dressed in traditional folk costumes and reenacted ancient rituals.