8 Lessons on Emptiness with a Happy End
Marina Abramovic, 2008

Viewing this artwork is possible at the LIMA media library in Amsterdam

'8 Lessons on Emptiness with a Happy End' is a video installation in which Marina Abramovic addresses the topic of violence as it is portrayed in contemporary media. The five channels of the installation, recorded in Laos, are organized in a long frieze, consisting of one central image flanked by two vertical and two horizontal ones. They alternate between archetypical scenes of warfare, referring to television and video games, and images from nature – a waterfall, an island and a Spirit Tree – which relate to spiritual life in Laos. The warfare scenes, enacted by children and Marina Abramovic herself, encourage compassion and responsibility. The title of the work refers to the traditional Buddhist notion of emptiness – emptying the mind to allow transfomation to a different state, in this case to achieve purification through the viewing process. Ideologically, '8 Lessons on Emptiness with a Happy End' differs from most political-activist contemporary work, which usually has an opposing quality; here, Marina Abramovic calls for compassion, critiques violence and its representation, and offers an opportunity for redemption. Read more...

  • Date: 2008
  • Type: Installation
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Genre: performance (artwork genre)
  • Keywords: installation - multi-channel video installation, mass media, third world/non-western culture, war, youth