Red Period / Blue Period
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'Red Period' shows a close up of Abramovic in monochrome red. With a seducing smile she gestures with her finger to invite the viewer closer. As her expression varies from tempting to ambiguous teasing, she holds her index finger straight up in front of her face. Moving the finger from side to side (almost like sign of warning), the screen eventually fades to black. All that can be seen then is an extreme close-up of the top of her head, all black, and her eyes at the bottom of the screen. Slowly, she lifts her head to reveal her face, which has a look of sleepiness. She rubs her face, yanks her hair and seems slightly more disgruntled, alluring, then girly again. With her eyes closed she gently bites her pinkie and put… it seductively into her mouth. She traces the contours of her face with her fingertips until the images fade to black again. Although the work can also be placed in the context of earlier and later works by Abramovic that often employ colour as a symbolic transmitter of energy, 'Red Period' also appeals for another reading; since Abramovic obviously plays with her femininity here, the colour red seems to refer to the red light used by prostitutes to disguise their identity and make them more attractive. The video is part of the 16-channel installation 'Video Portrait Gallery' (Abramovic 1975-2002).
'Blue Period' shows a close-up of Marina Abramovic in monochrome blue. As an unidentified pop song is looping on the soundtrack, she rather expressively bites her fingernails. Her saliva-covered fingertips gleam as they reflect the light. Her fingers are rubbing against her teeth. At some moments, she has the look of suffering and, at others, she apathetically stares into the camera. Her fingers seem to have a life on their own as her face grimaces from pain and disgust while she bites her nails. Thus, in its appearance, 'Blue Period' is quite reminiscent of earlier works that question presupposed bodily boundaries in an attempt to overcome pain, disgust and fear. But, at the same time, the use of the colour blue refers to a second tradition in Abramovic's work, which plays on the symbolism of colour, often in terms of its presumed capability to transfer energy. The video is part of the 16-channel installation 'Video Portrait Gallery' (Abramovic 1975-2002). Read more...