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Indepth Arts News:

"Marina Abramovic: Balkan Erotic Epic"
2007-01-10 until 2007-02-24
La Fabrica Galeria
Madrid, , ES Spain

La Fabrica Gallery presents Marina Abramovic's most recent work in Spain. La Fabrica Galeria is organising the second solo exhibition of Yugoslav artist Marina Abramovic, which will feature pieces from the series Balkan Erotic Epic. The exhibition is comprised of three large-format images and two videos about the significance of eroticism in Balkan popular culture. Brave and committed, Marina Abramovic (Belgrade, 1946) is undoubtedly an artist who is adept at achieving a perfect symbiosis of art and life.

Her artistic career and her personal life experiences have followed parallel paths and are completely inseparable. Her daring and intense work in the field of performance and body art, which she has been performing since the 1970s, has made her one of the most important international artists of recent decades.

In her second solo show at a Spanish gallery, Abramovic turns once again to her Montenegro roots with elements that narrate a novel epic of the Balkans. Balkan Erotic Epic is based on the artist's research into the popular culture of the Balkans and its understanding of eroticism.

The exhibition organised by La Fábrica Galería displays the videos entitled "Balkan Erotic Epic: Marina Abramovic Massaging Breasts, 2005" and "Balkan Erotic Epic: Woman with Skull, 2005." The show also features three large-format photographs from the same series entitled "Balkan Erotic Epic: Women Massaging Breasts", "Balkan Erotic Epic: Marina Abramovic Massaging Breasts (close up)" and "Balkan Erotic Epic: Woman with Skull."

According to the artist, Balkan Erotic Epic "is part of the research into Balkan popular culture and its use of eroticism. Through eroticism, humans attempt to make themselves equal with the gods. In folklore, the woman marries the sun and the man marries the moon to preserve the secret of creative energy; through eroticism, humans can get in touch with the indestructible cosmic forces."

According to Abramovic's previous investigations, human beings use eroticism in an attempt to attain equality with the gods: obscene objects and male and female genitals have a very important function in the fertility and agricultural rites of the Balkans. In her research for this work, the artist consulted ancient manuscripts and analysed medieval pagan rituals that have been part of Slavic culture since the Middle Ages.

Throughout her prestigious career, the axis of Abramovic's work has been her own body - a territory for experimentation and change, the canvas of her artistic expression. The artist conceives her actions as a space in which to release her personal ghosts, but also as a way of relating to reality. For Abramovic, the human body is "condition, opportunity and impediment all in one; an existential springboard for any kind of spiritual development."

Abramovic's main field of study throughout her artistic career has focused on the search for the physical and mental limits of the human body, and she was one of the pioneering figures of performance art in the 1970s. This interest has led her to research other non-Western cultures and to study their unique ways of exorcising fear of pain and death - feelings that are constant features of our modern-day Western society.

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