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MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ: THREE HISTORIC FILMS
Light/Dark, 1977; Rest Energy, 1980; Dissolution, 1997
March 14–April 14, 2010
(March 8, New York, NY) At 44 1/2, Creative Time's presentation of video art on MTV's outdoor, gilded screen located in the heart of New York City's Times Square, will showcase the work of groundbreaking performance artist Marina Abramović from March 14–April 14, 2010. Opening concurrently with her retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present, Creative Time's presentation includes Light/Dark (1977), Rest Energy (1980), and Dissolution (1997). Marina Ambramović is a performance artist whose groundbreaking work has influenced other artists for more than three decades.
"In her stunning work, Marina Abramović—along with her former collaborator, Ulay—has made powerful works that courageously probe conditions of gender, power, sexuality, war, and peace," said Anne Pasternak, President and Artistic Director of Creative Time. "Among the most influential artists of her time, it is exciting to show a small survey of her work on the MTV screen in Times Square, a site with contesting relationships between gender, commerce, and identity."
The first two films—Light/Dark and Rest Energy—feature German-born performance artist Ulay in interactions that explore the themes of tension and violence that carry throughout many of her time-based works. In Light/Dark, Abramović and Ulay kneel opposite each other against a dark background lit only by two sources of light. They take turns slapping each other at a quickening pace, resulting in mechanized rhythm that continues until Abramović ducks her head, evading the next slap and thus ending the cycle. In Rest/Energy, this cyclical repetition is replaced by an exercise in suspenseful stillness that begins when Abramović and Ulay stand opposite each other and slowly lean apart until they are held only by the tension of a loaded bow that is held between them—its arrow pointed directly at Abramović's heart. After four alarming minutes, they relax the tension on the bow, and Abramović is out of danger.
In Dissolution, wherein Abramović appears alone in a beautifully lit studio setting repeatedly lashing her bare back with a whip until she begins to tremble, the artist's focus returns to her ongoing exploration of the inextricable unity of body and mind. The title, Dissolution, references themes recurrent in Abramović's work, from violence and cultural memory, to testing the limits of her body in order to reach a higher state of consciousness.
The Museum of Modern Art's exhibition Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present, on view from March 14 to May 31, 2010, features the world premiere of a new work—The Artist Is Present (2010)—that she will perform daily throughout the run of the exhibition, for a total of over 700 hours. For more information, please visit www.moma.org.
Creative Time kicked off At 44 1/2 with the overwhelmingly successful presentation of Shallow by Malcolm McLaren in June 2008, and was followed by selections from Mark Tribe's Port Huron Project; early work by the legendary Gilbert & George; a series curated by artist Marilyn Minter; the work of acclaimed artist Steve McQueen; and two series by young artists. Most recently, Creative Time presented a mini-retrospective of the work of legendary artist Bruce Conner.
The larger than life, high definition 44 1/2 screen is located on Broadway between 44th and 45th Streets, directly across the street from MTV's offices and studio. At 44 1/2 is part of Creative Time's long history of presenting public art in Times Square.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Throughout her long career, Marina Abramović has employed the use of provocative performance as a vital form of visual art. Born in Belgrade, Yogoslavia, Marina Abramović became a member of a generation of pioneering performance artists in New York that emerged in the 1970s. Exploring the relationship between performer and audience, Abramović extends the physical and mental limits of her being in her performances. She has withstood pain, exhaustion, and danger in search for an emotional and spiritual transformation. Abramović has exhibited at major institutions throughout U.S. the world. Her work has also been included in many large-scale international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (1976 and 1997) and Documenta VI, VII and IX, Kassel, Germany (1977, 1982 and 1992). She was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale for her extraordinary video installation/performance piece Balkan Baroque‚ and in 2003 received the Bessie for The House with the Ocean View‚ a 12-day performance at Sean Kelly Gallery. In 2012, Abramović will open the Marina Abramović Institute in Hudson, NY to help preserve performance art and to help increase its audience.