In Between (SD)
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'In Between' is an installation occupying two adjacent rooms. In order to see the video that is projected in the main space, the visitors of the exhibition first have to enter a smaller space, where they find on a table a pile of contracts, blindfolds and headphones, which are given to them. Before they are allowed into the other room, they have to sign an agreement stating that they will stay for 40 minutes. The contracts are then attached to the walls with adhesive. In the video that is subsequently encountered in the main space, Marina Abramovic commands with a pacifying voice that the viewers should relax and slowly breath in and out. Her voice imitates the monologue of a hypnotizer, trying to bring the viewers in some kind of trance or at least a state of…total relaxation. When leaving again, the visitors receive a certificate, in which Abramovic thanks them for their time and trust. Setting free mental and physical energies, 'In Between' has to be considered within the context of a whole series of works that play with the energies circulating between viewer and performer during a performance. The experience of the installation immediately generates an increased body-awareness, an intense feeling of embodiment indicating the inseparability of body and mind. Strikingly, this process does not seem to depend on whether the performer is actually in the same space as the public; it also works when the performer is absent and replaced by an reproducible image. Consequently, as in other works by Abramovic, the members of the audience tend to become performers themselves, as they start to 'act' by their own. As a work of art, 'In Between' reflects the way 'performativity' cannot be restricted to the 'presence' of a designated performer. The video is also part of the 16-channel installation 'Video Portrait Gallery' (Abramovic 1975-2002).
A. I sit on a chair talking to the camera as if it were the public.
B. I lie on a table performing.
1. Tracing lines on my open palm with a sharp needle
2. Pricking my middle finger with a sharp needle
3. Smearing blood over my finger with a sharp needle
4. Helper holding the needle very close above my wide open eye tracing the veins
5. Tracing moles on my neck with a sharp needle
Before entering the space, the audience is asked to sign an agreement to spend 40 minutes
inside the video installation without leaving.
Before entering blindfolds and headphones have been given to them.
On their way out each of them is given a certificate, in which the artist thanks them
for their time and trust.
Without fulfilling these conditions the work cannot be seen.