9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN02 Sociology of the Arts

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 The Production of Artistic Meanings Building II, C6.07

"Violence at Work: Marina Abramovic"

We intend to study the theme of violence in the works and performances of the Serbian visual artist Marina Abramovic. A member of the body art movement, Abramovic mainly worked on her own body (and that of her partner Ulay) by cutting it, beating it, hurting it and being so violent to her own body that she sometimes fainted, and even took lethal risks that needed spectators to intervene in order to stop the performance.
We will first describe the refinement of the violences that the artist administrates to her own body by analysing a few of her most significant performances. Then we will analyse Abramovic?s discourse on the violence of her works and show that there is a plurality of interpretations (for instance, power relations and triangular domination between the two artists and the public references to the repressive Yougoslavian society under Tito?s governments?). Then we will focus on the way that Abramovic?s work is received and perceived by the general public (above which internauts who comment the videos of her performances on such sites as Youtube) as by the social world of contemporary art (a social world in which, the artist, who received the golden lion for the best installation at the Biennale of Venice in 1997, is very legitimate).