Cleaning the Mirror II (SD)
Marina Abramovic, 1995, 14'47''

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'Cleaning the Mirror II', now a single-channel piece, has originally been the second in a series of three performances. The video opens with the image of a skeleton laying supine on top of Marina Abramovic, who is nude. The skull and her head look to the same direction. The rib cage of the skeleton barely hides her underneath. Her breathing is accentuated and amplified. For every breath Abramovic takes the skull of the skeleton turns downwards as her chest rises and back upwards as she exhales. A spectre of life haunts the moving bones as Abramovic continues to breathe life into them. The second shot is a close up of the skull and Marina's sleepy-eyed face. She continues to breathe in the same manner, the skull moving with every breath she takes. The net image is an even more extreme close-up, as only a small part of the skull and Abramovic's left eye can be seen. The skull's nasal cavity and teeth merge with Abramovic's eye to make one face. As her heavy breathing continues, fingers suddenly appear to move the skull away from her face. Every now and then Abramovic wets her lips and teeth. In the sixth and final shot Abramovic's mouth fills the entire screen. She licks her lips and teeth again, the wet saliva contrasting with the dry lifeless skull intimately laying above her. According to Abramovic, the human skeleton is a metaphorical representation of '…the last mirror we will all face' , referring to death and temporality, which are recurring themes in Abramovic's work. As she is 'animating' the skeleton, life and death are simultaneously made visible. The video is also part of the 16-channel installation 'Video Portrait Gallery' (Abramovic 1975-2002). Read more...

  • Date: 1995
  • Length: 14'47''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA