Image of Happiness (SD)
Marina Abramovic, 1996, 60'00''

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The video opens with an extreme close up of Marina Abramovic's face turned upside down. Her face is red from the blood rushing to her head. She is motionless and still, narrating her 'image of happiness': 'I am at home, pregnant, sitting in the rocking chair next to the fireplace…' She moves her hands as if sewing and continues: '… My husband is coal miner, he's coming home, he opened the door and stood there, covered with coal dust, sweat and dirt…' Mentioning her imagined husband covered in grime, she rubs her face with her hands and continues: '…slowly… I go to the cupboard…, and from the pile, I take a fresh, white ironed shirt… I go to the fridge, take a glass of cold milk… with his left hand, he holds the milk and his right hand he putsit on my stomach… gently… gently…' She repeats this image over and over while staying in the same position. Her story is a conceived 'image of happiness' that radically differs from her own biography. The gap between her own life and the life she imagines raises questions about her position as a female artist not living up to traditional female roles. At the same time, the work evokes a strong bodily feeling of intimacy. Moreover, there is a certain nostalgia to her story and maybe even a sense of melancholic desire, generating a specific ambivalence that does now allow for final conclusions about the character of the work. The video is also part of the 16-channel installation 'Video Portrait Gallery' (Abramovic 1975-2002). Read more...

  • Date: 1996
  • Length: 60'00''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA