Sunday, January 9, 2011

pink; untitled (rose quartz pillows)

Marina Abramovic is definitely an artist I would never have imagined writing about in my research on contemporary artists who have created pink work. She is the Queen of Intense, having topped most lists of 2010 'must see' exhibitions, for her show at MOMA last year titled The Artist Is Present. Very present she was indeed, as she sat  silently for a total of 736-hours and 30-minutes during March 14 to May 31, in the gallery surrounded by lights and dressed in what looked very similar to a Catholic priests robe. Visitors were invited to sit opposite her while they both stared into each others eyes, no words exchanged, for as long as the visitor was able. Talk about intense! This woman made people cry from simply starring into them, so much so that a F.B page was set up as a support group for 'sitters' so they could talk about their experience of sitting opposite the artist!

With this work, which could be seen as humorous, Abramovic creates a sense of deep contemplation around the realms of healing gemstones. The Rose Quartz is considered to be a stone which aids in emotional healing, especially of the heart. These healing stones are normally associated with hippy culture, pie-in-the-sky type attitude with their 'what one must do with the stone' instructions and 'cleansing by the moonlight' rituals. All too much effort for me!

Untitled(Rose Quartz pillows) created in 1994, is meant to represent the Tzadik according to Abramovic. The viewer is to achieve a synthesis of heart, mind and eros whilst standing or leaning into the 'pillows' which are positioned to touch the head, heart and groin, becoming a righteous person through the experience; a Tzadik.   

I find humour in Abramovic calling these pillows. Of course they are pillows!!!! Only she would consider a stone a pillow! She has held workshops and retreats for performance artists  where participants have been known to sleep outside, drink green tea and water only, count grains of rice, sitting and staring at an object for a ridiculously extended period of time and even starring at themselves all day, holding a hand held mirror. 

These 'pillows' are set in a room that looks more like a mausoleum than a room for healing, with the positioning of the 'pillows' in rows against the wall similar to memory plaques for the dead inside. The grey room looks cold and, as if beyond the temperature of freezing point, the pink stones look icy, not warm and inviting as pink often does. Is Abramovic suggesting to be a righteous person is to be close to death? Maybe this is her point and she is wanting us to experience the coldness of death as a reminder that we can be reborn and recreate only through the death of something, whether metaphorically or physically.

Ahhh Marina, thankyou for being who you are and presenting us with a perspective that is so intense it scares me off. 

I will take my pink clouds room for healing thanks!

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