BGE Contemporary Art Projects is honoured to announce our first Solo exhibition, “Portraits”, with one of today´s most influential artists, Marina Abramović, known as the grand mother of performance art.
Abramović has been moving the boundaries of art for the past four decades. Using her own body as a tool, she has pushed herself to the ultimate physical and emotional limits, exposing herself to life threatening dangers to create performance art which challenges the viewer, as well being profoundly moving.
“Portaits” consists of 16 carefully selected photographs, 2 videos and 4 objects, ranging from the past 10 years of her artistry, 2008 to 2018. The photographs documents Abramović performances, as well as conveying the emotion and context behind the performance. As a performance artist Abramović herself is the centre of her art works, and therefore also often the centre of her photographs, making them come across as portraits of the artist.
Some of the works in the exhibition are works from the series “The Kitchen - Homage to Saint Therese” shot by Italian photographer Marco Anelli. Here Abramović can be seen cooking in the former orphanage kitchens of La Laboral. La Laboral is a sprawling arts complex in Gijón, Spain where Carthusian nuns who fed more than 8000 orphans during the convent´s active years. The writings of Saint Therese of Ávila – a 16th century nun who was said to have levitated in church and once – to her annoyance - in her kitchen while making soup – inspired the work. Amongst these there are further more works centring around cooking or the preparation of food. Abramović states that “In my childhood the kitchen of my grandmother was the centre of my world: all the stories were told in the kitchen, all the advices regarding my life were given in the kitchen, all the future-telling through the cups of black coffee took place in the kitchen, so it was really the centre of the world, and all my best memories come from there.”
During her exhibition at the MoMA in New York (2010), the idea of creating an institute for performance art was born, called the Marina Abramović Institute. The institute, which is currently traveling to different locations around the world, invites spectators to take part in her performances, as a part of what is called “The Marina Abramović Method”. In her exhibition at BGE Contemporary Art Projects, there are also 4 objects which all are a part of Abramović´ Transitory Objects, a collection of objects essential to experiencing The Abramović Method. These Transitory Objects ask the viewer to physically touch, rest and sit on or against them, thereby becoming a vehicle for meditative transformation. Since 1989, Abramović has visited Brazil numerous times studying crystals and precious stones, and their influence on the human body and mind, which is incorporated in all of the objects shown in “Portraits”. Geological formations inspired Marina Abramović to use this powerful material to create Transitory Objects, such as sculptural pieces that serve as furniture. The purpose is to help her audience to use these tools, in order to reach a “higher level of consciousness.