The return of Marina Abramovic in Portugal. The last time she’s been here was in 1997 with the “Spirit House” installation, which she conceived for an old municipal slaughterhouse in Caldas da Rainha. Now, 22 years later, the same installation is presented at the Carpintarias de São Lázaro in Lisboa. “Spirit House” is composed of five videos that dialogue between them, in which we see Marina Abramovic in different performances created for the camera: ‘Dissolution’, ‘Insomnia’, ‘Luminosity’, ‘Dozing Con- sciousness’ and ‘Lost Souls’.

In “Spirit House” we find reminiscences of the artist’s previous work – we see her performing various actions such as lashing her back until red or covering her face in extreme slow motion, in an allusion to recurring themes of her other pieces like trauma, cultural memory or the concept of testing the body’s resistance to reach a higher state of consciousness – but also more surprising and uncommon experiences in the lexicon of the author – for example dancing an Arabian tango all alone in one of the rare pieces where sound is present.

The revisit of the piece proves the relevancy of existing modernity in the aesthetic program of Abramovic, in a crushing and disconcerting testimony of the visionary dimension of her body of work that for decades hasn’t stopped questioning themes and issues that are still too prominent today, such as solitude, pain, spiritual determination, the intensifying of presence, the transcendence of the body, sacrifice or femininity.

“Spirit House” refers to the inextricable unity of mind and body, in a constant challenge that has marked the artistic journey of one of the most well-known, notable and controversial figures in the contemporary art scene, a main figure in the revolution of the concept of performance art.


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