Contemporary Art: Marina Abramovic

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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 clothin... ... middle of paper ... ...of the stage. In point of view, “The House with the Ocean view” is without a doubt one of the most important live art works in decades. Not because it is a work of extraordinary elegance, which it is, nor because it continues potent themes of Marina’s thirty year career, which it does, but because above all it is a work of visual theatre in the most powerful and heroic sense. It is the staging of emotion, without recourse to a single word and of high drama with barely a contrived effect. It stems from a personal challenge so unlikely to make her world a stage and is constructed with such restraint, the artist installed on a suspended platform only six feet deep on one wall of a gallery, that its success is almost uncanny, especially given the broad sweep of audience members who were moved, some to tears, to sit with Marina for a large part of her twelve day vigil.

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