Contemporary Art: Marina Abramovic Essay

1511 words - 6 pages

Marina Abramovic was born in Yugoslavia in 1946. In the early 1970’s she pursued Fine Art in Belgrade where she established the importance and use of performance as a visual art. Marina considered body as being her medium and subject. Having found the mental limits of her existence, she bore severe pain and danger in the search for emotional transformation.
Marina’s work is more typical rather than traditional. It avoided artwork such as paint and canvas; however the aim was to eradicate the distance between the artist and audience while making her own body to act as a medium. Marina Abramovic, without a doubt remains far best known for performance and she is one of them who is still an artist performing in her late career.
One of the best works of Marina is “The House with the Ocean View,” presented in an exhibition held in New York at Sean Kelly Gallery. Moreover, it was Marina’s first solo exhibition held in New York since 1997.

“The House with the Ocean View” took place over twelve days at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York, during which Marina lived in the gallery space for twenty four hours a day, eating nothing and drinking only water. She could be observed during opening hours as she moved around a large raised platform jutting out from the wall and divided into three open room structures evoking a bedroom, bathroom and sitting room. Each area consisted basic wooden furniture designed by the artist: a bed, a table, a chair, a shower and a lavatory. Viewers in the gallery watched Marina as she slept, showered, urinated, walked back and forth, drank water and sat in contemplation. As in the performances of Marina Abramovic and Ulay’s epic Nightsea Crossing(1981-57), each day the artist wore different coloured clothing corresponding to Ayurvedic colour symbolism, as well as the sturdy hiking boots as she became progressively weaker. The impossibility of her descent was underlined by the three ladders made of razor-sharp knives propped against the platform in front of each room. Time was marked by the slow ticking of a metronome.
During the twelve days of the performance, viewers stood or sat in silence for considerable periods of time, looking the artist, who in turn looked at them. New visitors were sometimes acknowledged by her body language or eye movements. As each day progressed, the atmosphere in the gallery became infused with the unspoken dialogue taking place between the artist and the viewers, and with the viewers’ reaction to each other. Using the same pared-down, simple structure of her earlier performative works, with her body as conduit, Marina transformed the relationship between artist and viewer into a complex form of energy exchange.
In “The House with the Ocean View,” Marina Abramovic transformed the discrete artwork into Popper’s ‘open-ended environmental proposition,’ replacing the object with an open-ended public space of non-commodified exchange, created by the artist and viewer in equal measure. “The House...

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