Marina Abramovic: Back to Simplicity
Luciana Brito Galeriaopens the exhibition Back to Simplicity by Marina Abramovic on the 18th November. Born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, in 1946, Abramovic has contributed in a fundamental manner for the consolidation of performance as a form or artistic expression, in the course of the three decades of her career. Since the 1970’s, Marina Abramovic’s work has explored and tested, by means of countless performances, the human limits, both physical and mental. In Brazil, the artist has participated in the São Paulo Biennales of 1981, 1985 and 2008; the Mercosul Binennale, in 2005; the exhibition Balkan Erotic Epic, carried out at SESC-SP in 2006, curated by Adelina von Fürstenberg; and the solo show Transitory Object for Human Use, carried out at the Galeria Brito Cimino (presently Luciana Brito Galeria), in 2008.
Besides a set of historical artworks, including videos and photographs that document performances the artist has presented since the 1970s, Abramovic will show works from the series “The Kitchen”(2009) and “Back to Simplicity” (2010).
“The Kitchen” is a set of videos and photos made in Spain, in the abandoned spaces of a kitchen (with an extraordinary architectural design, constructed during the Franco regime) in a convent of Carthusian nuns who fed more than 8000 orphans when the convent was active. Although the work is born as an homage to SaintTeresa of Avila – who in her writings tells of an experience of mystic levitation in the kitchen – it becomes above all an autobiographical work, considering that, as the artist herself states in the interview included in the catalogue: “In my childhood the kitchen of my grandmother was the center of my world: all the stories were told in the kitchen, all the advices regarding my life were given in the kitchen, all the future-telling through the cups of black coffee took place in the kitchen, so it was really the center of the world, and all my best memories come from there.”
The series “Back to Simplicity” – Marina Abramovic’s most recent work, never before shown in Brazil – arose from the need to reestablish the artist’s contact with nature, in its simplest and most immediate forms, after the cathartic experience of Abramovic’s three-month-long performance piece entitled The Artist is Present, presented at a recent solo show at MoMA New York. In the words of the artist: “after I had been looking at one thousand six hundred and seventy five pairs of eyes, after that incredible human connection, I needed to be connected with nature. (...) Being under a tree, holding a lamb for two days, in complete joy, that’s what Back to Simplicity is all about.”
Back to Simplicitywill take up all of the rooms at Luciana Brito Gallery:
Projection of videos and exhibition of objects used in the performances.
Exhibition of historical photographs, records of performances by the artist.
Projection of a feature video.
Exhibition of recent photographs (2009/2010).
A catalogue including an interview with the artist and two relevant critical texts about her oeuvre, previously unpublished in Portuguese, will be issued and distributed free to the visitors, and later to libraries and museums, rendering the artist’s work accessible to an even wider audience.
About the artist
Born in 1946 in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, Marina Abramovic is without a doubt one of the seminal artists of our times. Since the 1970’s, when she started her artistic career after concluding the Belgrade Fine Arts Academy, Abramovic has been considered the pioneer in the use of performance as a form of visual art.
The human body has always been her subject and expressive medium. As she explored the physical and mental limits of her own being, she has subjected herself to pain, exhaustion and danger, in search of spiritual and emotional transformation. The artists is interested in the production of artwork that ritualizes daily life situations, such as lying down, sitting up, dreaming and thinking – in fact, the manifestation of a special mental state. A lifelong member of the generation of pioneering performance art artists that includes Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci and Chris Burden, Abramovic has created one of the first artworks of historical value and today remains as the only one still producing lasting and important performances.
From 1975 to 1988, Abramovic and the German artist Ulay worked together. After they separated in 1988, Abramovic retook individual performances, from 1989. Her work was exhibited in great international shows such as the Venice Biennale (1976 and 1997) and the Documenta (editions VI, VII and IX) in Kassel, Germany (1977, 1982 and 1992, respectively).
Marina Abramovic has intensely worked as a teacher and lecturer in Europe and the USA. In 2004, she was given a Doctorate honoris causa at the Art Institute, in Chicago.
She was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale for her extraordinary video installation Balkan Baroque and, in 2003, the Bessie Prize for The House with the Ocean View‚ a performance which she presented in the course of 12 days at Sean Kelly Gallery, de Nova York.
In 2005, Abramovic showed Balkan Erotic Epicat the Pirelli Foundation, in Milan. In the same year, she presented a series of performances titled Seven Easy Pieces at the Guggenheim Museum, in New York
Recently, Abramovic participated in the exhibition “The Artist is Present’, aretrospective of her work organized by the MoMA (NY). For three months, the artist remained seated during the museum’s opening hours, available to the audience who wished to share the experience of the performance with her.
Upcoming projects are among others a theatre piece directed by Robert Wilson that will be premiered in 2011, and the opening of the M.A.I ( Marina Abramovic Institute) in 2012.
Marina Abramovic’s work is part of several of the most important public collections around the world, such as Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, EUA; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; the Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland; and the Kunstmuseum Bern, Berna, Switzerland, among others.
18.11.2010 to 12.02.2011
tuesday - friday, from 10 am to 7 pm
saturdays, from 11 am to 5 pm