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Abramovic/hirst

Par   •  22 Novembre 2017  •  3 801 Mots (16 Pages)  •  254 Vues

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Considering the works of Damien Hirst and Marina Abramovic, the encountering of strangeness and weirdly “simple” art is surprising and uncommon. But in reality, the metaphysical questions about death behold change this pre-judgmental mentality. The lack of visual effort the artists might not visibly show in their work, does not represent the immense thought/concept that went behind it. There is no such thing as a “good” or a “bad” piece of work. But at the end of the day the viewer still decides for him- or herself.

MEDIUMS, STYLES AND FORMS

Marina Abramovic, solo performance, “Rhythm 0”, Studio Morra, Naples, 1975. Image 3.[7]

[pic 3]We will dive into the world of performance art by exploring Marina Abramovic. She’s an artist known for her various performances executed worldwide.

“Instructions. There are 72 objects on the table that one can use on me as desired.

Performance. I am the object. During this period I take full responsibility.”

- Marina Abramovic[8]

Rhythm 0 could be considered one of her most challenging piece. It consists of her being the object in an open gallery for six hours, whilst taking full responsibility for the performance; instructing people to make use of the 72 objects (including a gun) on her as they please.

The act in itself would be easy to re-create, so the credibility of the skills is being distrusted. The remarkably interesting focus lays on people’s reactions to the freedom they acquire. The violence rising in the crowded room in which Abramovic is performing looked alarming.

The audience started picking up the gun and placed in Abramovic’s hand to see if she would really push the target with her own hands.[9]

Questioning as to why people can suddenly become potentially dangerous is essential. Especially when changing the focus and wondering if the audience would have acted differently considering Marina Abramovic was a child, or a disabled person. The artist explores the limits and capacities of her own body and mind, as well as the passivity of danger due to being exposed to strangers. The artist depends on her audiences’ participation and reaction towards her acts. Her main intention is to provoke her audience to create the feeling of empathy and take notice of her loss of control whilst their power is rising.

As Marina Abramovic stated in a video[10] she wanted to take the risk of possibly being killed with a pistol with one bullet, which was part of the 72 objects.

She wanted to know what the public is really about, and how far people were willing to go. “After six hours (…) when I start moving and being myself because I was there like a puppet just for them. In that moment anybody ran away, people could not actually confront with me as a person.” Marina Abramovic found interesting how people would act so violently and wildly when they were given power over her, but they got scared when she was being herself.

Marina Abramovic, performance with Ulay, “Rest Energy”, Film Studio Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1980. Image 3[11]

[pic 4]Marina Abramovic and Ulay were an artistic couple that enjoyed performing together. In Rest Energy, the objects used are an arrow, which Ulay is holding, and a bow, which Abramovic is holding onto. The act consists of the couple slowly leaning backwards, standing opposite of each other and creating a tension between both arrow and bow. To document this performance a camera has been set up, and microphones and pace makers attached to their clothing to record heartbeats and breathing.[12] This performance was extremely dangerous, because a wrong move could’ve killed Abramovic, due to the arrow pointing straight to her heart. Metaphorically, combining an arrow and a bow gets associated with Cupid, which is the God of desire and erotic love. Therefore the performance could be a metaphor for the relation between two people. If one person decides to make a wrong move, voluntarily or not, the other one goes down; here Abramovic would literally die by getting her heart sliced by a bow. Death is constantly present between the two people during the whole performance. The couple shares a vulnerable and intimate moment, which certainly does not require special skills to be re-created but it definitely needs to be studied in depth before being executed. By keeping the energy between the two people collected and focused, technically nothing could go wrong.

The fact that the lovers decided to make this performance public and share it worldwide by videotaping it, makes it very likely that the audience is meant to feel and react (internally or externally) to the performance. The fact that the viewer is forced to look at the provocative performance, which could go wrong is a rebellious statement of the artists. There is a connection with Vanitas regarding the symbolism of death, which can be found throughout the performance. The bow is being pulled backwards, which provokes a real tension regarding the bow, and in the mind of the viewer, who is waiting for something to happen.

Damien Hirst, “For the Love of God”, 2007, Image 4[13]

[pic 5]Damien Hirst is widely recognized for his extraordinary, mad artistry, such as his sculpture For the Love of God. The platinum skull contains real teeth of a human skull from the 18th century, which has been studded and decorated with diamonds worth millions of dollars. The artist’s choice of medium was inspired by the Mexican skulls, which are part of Mexican culture. It honours and celebrates death as a beautiful gift, which seems alien to traditional European still life paintings where a skull metaphorically represents a passage leading to the after-life and God. Death itself has always played the role of an unknown mystery (in European culture). By using a skull as a medium, Hirst intentionally addresses this matter directly and precisely, which excludes surrealistic approaches. The use of platinum and diamonds could be associated with eternity and durability, which is something that a lot of humans wish for themselves. The bright, gloriously idealised version of the skull makes it look alive and present.

The facial expression it depicts could be interpreted as a mockery of death. Studded with 1,106.18 carats it radiates beauty and power. In today’s society money seems to allow people to feel the same way. But nevertheless, death cannot be cheated; no matter the amount of money someone would be ready to pay to attain

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