Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Marina Abramovich Presents...

Part of the Manchester International Festival, guests are invited to the Whitworth Art Gallery, which has been completely taken over by performance art.
The evening begins with an intorduction from renowned peformance artist Marina Abramovich, who leads a group meditation, to relax us, make us more aware ourselves/our surroundings in preparation for the 13 performance artists that followed. Marina wanted to 'deprogram' us in order for us to be able to absorb what we were about to see and fully immerse ourselves into the strange encounters of the next room. It was compulsory for everyone to wear a white coat for the duration of the evening, in order to unify all participants. Marina main difference between performance art and acting, is that performance art is real, the artist becomes something, rather than an actor who pretends to be something. If a performance artist cuts themselves, they use a real knife. It was required of the audience to endure ( and I mean endure) a full four hours within the gallery, which had been completely taken over by performance art, all permanent collections removed. The gallery had been transformed into a living breathing space. I encountered each artist in a hypnotic state, apparently unaware of people around, just concerned with the space around them and with the 'art' they were creating. There were only a couple of the artist which i was genunely intrigued and impressed by;

Kira O’Reilly – naked, apart from the appearance of black leather gloves,contorts her body to make it look like she is falling down the stairs. The strength and physical ability she needs in order to do this so gracefully leaves you mesmerised. Every movement and details of the fall has been carefully considered, to create the sense that this is a slow motion snap shot of a rel fall. Whats more impressive is that she does this for four hours, twice a day!

The undisputed highpoint of the evening is Fedor Pavlov-Andreevich’s “glory hole”.

With only his mouth visible, members of the audience are encouraged to approach him to feed him food and water and brush his teeth; an interesting, if slightly unsettling experience.

Full list of featured artists; Marina Abramović, Ivan Civic, Nikhil Chopra, Amanda Coogan, Marie Cool Fabio Balducci, Yingmei Duan, Eunhye Hwang, Jamie Isenstein, Terence Koh, Alastair MacLennan, Kira O’Reilly, Fedor Pavlov-Andreevich, Melati Suryodarmo and Nico Vascellari. http://www.fpavlovandreevich.com/ http://www.kiraoreilly.com/blog/

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