Marina Abramović presents her first exhibition with Lisson Gallery China, following her major presentation at The Light Society, Beijing, in 2019. This new exhibition brings together a selection of works from the artist’s Transitory Objects series, alongside photography from her groundbreaking 1970s performances, and a film installation. As one of the most significant artists internationally, Abramović has earned widespread acclaim over the past 50 years as a pioneer of performance art. Following this exhibition in Shanghai is the artist’s highly anticipated retrospective at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, opening in September 2023.Read more
This exhibition in Shanghai is a landmark moment for the artist as a return to the country where she enacted one of her most iconic performances: her walk across the Great Wall in China with Ulay in 1988. Abramović was inspired by this very experience – in particular the shifting states and diverse minerals present in the ground on which she walked – to create the Transitory Objects series, which she began on her return from China and continued to develop over the following decades. The Transitory Objects series is also meaningful as it was the artist’s first series of work that involves the public’s participation. Engaging with materials such as quartz, crystals, copper, iron and wood, Abramović invites the audience to directly interact with these works, and to receive their energy – using it as a means of transit to a meditative state of consciousness. As Abramović once said, “the artist’s function is to present the work and deliver it to the public, so the public can bring it to completion”.
In addition, Abramović presents the single screen installation, Stromboli 1 (2002), titled after an island north of Sicily that is the only permanently active volcano in Europe. The installation shows static black and white close-up images of Abramović lying on the shores of the sea, her eyes closed, facing the sky. The artist remains silent and motionless for almost 20 minutes until the last wave drowns her for a short moment. In reaction to the rising ebb and flow of the tides, she changes the position of her head.
Also featured in the presentation are two black and white photographs, highlighting the durational bodily experimentations that committed to single actions, offering the audience an opportunity to re-live some of Abramović’s most physically and mentally demanding performances, withstanding pain and exhaustion in her quest for emotional liberation and mind-altering transformation. Consisting of 20 frames of photography, Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful (1975/2010) documents a scripted scenario where Abramović parts her hair using both hands, with a metal brush in one hand, and a metal comb in other while continuously repeating “Art must be beautiful, artist must be beautiful” until she is repeatedly damaging both her own face and hair. The performance is an example of how, in the early years of performance art, female artists used their own bodies to challenge the institution of art and the notion of beauty. Alongside this is another series of photographic works entitled Freeing the Voice (1975/2014), taken during a 3-hour original performance at the Student Cultural Center, Belgrade in 1975. The artist is seen lying on a white mattress with her head tilted back, screaming, until she loses her voice. Attempting to achieve a mental cleansing through pushing the limit of the three main faculties of expression – voice, language and body – her scream eventually becomes a sound object, breaking free from the body and filling the space independently.
玛丽娜·阿布拉莫维奇 (Marina Abramović) 将呈现她在里森画廊中国空间的首次个展，本次展览汇聚了她的《须臾之物》(Transitory Objects) 系列、记录1970年代行为艺术的摄影，以及一件影像装置。作为行为艺术的先驱，阿布拉莫维奇在过去的50年里获得了广泛赞誉，是国际上最负盛名的艺术家之一。本次展览过后，她将于2023年9月在伦敦皇家艺术学院推出备受瞩目的大型回顾展。此前，阿布拉莫维奇曾于2019年在北京光社影像中心举办个展。
1988年，阿布拉莫维奇与乌雷 (Ulay) 徒步长城，共同完成她最具标志性的行为艺术表演之一。正是受到徒步长城经历的启发，阿布拉莫维奇创作了《须臾之物》系列作品，灵感来源于她行走过的地面上不断变化的地质和多种多样的矿物。离开中国后她随即开始这一系列的创作，并在之后的几十年间将其持续发展。《须臾之物》的另一重要意义还在于，这是阿布拉莫维奇首个引入公众参与的系列。通过石英、水晶、铜、铁和木头等材料，艺术家邀请观众和作品直接互动，接收它们的能量，作为一种通往冥想状态的途径。正如她所言：“艺术家的职能是呈现作品、将其交给公众，以便公众去完成它。”
阿布拉莫维奇最为知名的行为艺术以磨砺身心为特点，她在表演中通过承受痛苦和疲惫以达致情绪释放和思维转变。本次展览中的两组黑白摄影作品凸显了她通过单一动作进行的持续性身体实验，让观众得以“重临”艺术家的行为表演现场。由20帧照片组成的《艺术必须美丽，艺术家必须美丽》(Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful，1975/2010) 记录了一个有台词的场景——阿布拉莫维奇口中不断地重复着“艺术必须美丽，艺术家必须美丽”，并用双手中的金属刷和金属梳将头发分向两侧，直到弄伤了自己的头发和面部。这次表演体现了在早期行为艺术中，女性艺术家利用自己的身体来挑战艺术制度和“美”的观念。另外一组摄影名为《放声》(Freeing the Voice，1975/2014)，拍摄于1975年艺术家在贝尔格莱德学生文化中心进行的、持续3小时的原创行为表演。照片中，阿布拉莫维奇躺在一张白色的床垫上，仰首尖叫，直至失声。她试图突破声音、语言、身体这三种感官表达的极限，以得到精神层面的净化。她的尖叫最终转变成一个声音客体，它从身体中挣脱出来，独立地填满整个空间。