For centuries, art has been inseparable from spirituality and has had a function of a mediator between the believers and the God(s). Regardless of the dominant Judeo-Christian dogma, the avant-garde artists at the begging of the 20th century in particular started dealing with spirituality differently and in regards to both different kind of teachings and the establishment of psychoanalysis.
Furthermore, the interest in various aspects of spiritual rituals and practices centered on the self-expression, or more precisely, self-awareness, took its toll on the development of the body performance in the early 1970s.
Marina Abramović, one of the most important artists of the contemporary world, has been dealing with these subjects, in this way or another, practically during all of her career. In order to focus more closely on the complexities of the artist's psyche, famous Viennese Galerie Krinzinger has decided to present mostly photographic works in an upcoming exhibition titled Two Hearts.
Throughout her entire work, Marina Abramović has continuously pushed the boundaries of her body as the primary medium. By developing what was later described as durational performances, the artist has questioned the limits of pain by exhausting both her body and mind.
Her performances have marked the recognition and the critical reception of the media as a legitimate one. Starting with the first pieces, released at the Student cultural center in Belgrade, through the collaborations with the German artist Ulay (with whom she worked and lived from 1975 to 1988), to the celebrated retrospective The Artist Is Present at the MoMA, she has shown an impeccable ability to transform and upgrade her four-decades-long activity.
Despite the fact that Marina Abramović never proclaimed herself or her practices to be feminist, the dedication to the social and cultural perception of the female principle is dominant. The appreciations of ancient cultures and rituals which are embedded in the concept of duality (light and dark, existence and emptiness) have triggered Abramović to seek for her own extremes.
Therefore, this exhibition showcases a number of the artist's self-portraits in all of the spaces of Galerie Krinzinger. By posing as a healer, mage or a warrior, Abramović examines various identities and roles from the strictly defined gender perspective.
These works are to be seen not only as representations of the artist’s ego and self-reflection but also of female emancipation, pride and moral.
It is important to note that the collaboration between the artist and the established Viennese gallery lasts for quite a long time. Actually, Abramović released some of her iconic performances out there, such as Thomas Lips from 1975.
The opening of Two Hearts at the Galerie Krinzinger is going to happen on the 26 April with the presence of the artist, while the audience will be able to see the exhibition from 27 April until 22 June 2018.
The curiosity is that simultaneously with this exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, GLOBART platform is going to honor Abramović with an award for being the most important performance artist of the present.
Featured images: Marina Abramović - Untitled, 2018. Lightbox © Marina Abramović. Courtesy Marina Abramović Archives. All images courtesy Galerie Krinzinger.