Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Brisbane Art Exhibitions: Marina Abramovic's "Art Must Be Beautiful" at IMA, Brunswick St, Valley, Jan 30

From January 30 to 27 March 2010, the Institute of Modern Art will be displaying Marina Abramovic's 1975 video perfomance piece "Art Must Be Beautiful". The IMA's notes on the piece tell us:

Serbian artist Marina Abramovic has been called the grandmother of performance art. Her works have often involved pain and endurance. In Art Must Be Beautiful, her iconic 1975 performance-for-video, she agressively combs and brushes her long hair, teasing it up, while repeating 'art must be beautiful, artist must be beautiful'. Her voice and expression betray her pain. In watching the video, one senses that the camera has taken the place of a mirror. Abramovic's simple act is open to interpretation. It has been seen as exemplifying a feminist critique of expectations on women to be beautiful, and yet it is compelling viewing precisely because the artist is so beautiful. The work can be read as masochistic, but also as ascetic—with the artist entering a trance-like state, 'freeing body and soul from the restrictions imposed by culture and from the fear of physical pain and death'.

There's a long interview here at Bombsite magazine with Abramovic, shorter interviews here and here, and photos of some more of Abramovic's work at the Sean Kelly gallery website.

The Institute of Modern Art is in the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Art at 420 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, on the corner of Berwick St - click here for a Google Map. The IMA is open from 11am to 5pm from Tuesday to Saturday. The best way to get there by public transport is to catch a 199 or 196 bus from the Cultural Centre bus station, or the 196 from stop 25 or 199 from stop 26 on Adelaide St in the City, right near Anzac Square - click here for a Google Map showing those bus stops. You can click here to use the Translink journey planner to find bus timetables.

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