The work series Seven Deaths carved into alabaster and lit from behind shows seven ways a person in this case impersonated by the artist herself can die. For me this series which was displayed at Lisson Gallery in London Cork Street, shows the possibility of a Leap, as inherent in the title, a Leap, which as well was the title of Lee Ufan’s so far unrealised sculpture intended to be displayed in public space as a permanent sculpture was conceived to be a jump by a jaguar cat into the river. The project is currently postponed and is planned to be shown in a different location later this year.
The Leap in Marina Abramović alabaster work clearly states, the way out for myself, it can be understood of a way out of the series of deaths thst are portrayed in the seven alabaster pieces which I reference in my book on the Sistine Chaple in juxtaposition with works on the Sistine Chaple ceiling. Three images so far have been analysed and the images in comparison with scenes in the book Die Sixtinische Kapelle by Antonio Paolucci published in the Edizioni Musei Vaticani can clearly be related to scenes from Michelangelo’s Chaple Ceiling.
Another reason why I decided to write about this work by Marina Abramović is the current crisis between Ukraine and Russia who have signed a peace treaty on 25th of January 2022 to end the crisis in Eastern Europe.
The work Seven Deaths: The Leap, 2021/2022 seemed the perfect counterposition of a way out of the crisis without making it go into the wrong direction. Both presidents of Russia and the Ukraine have contested more than once that diplomatic conversations are possible, humanitarian aid has bern promised by most European countries as well as Great Britain, but in all of this internationsl turmoil this work by Marina Abramović shows and symbolises what everyone wants right now, the way out of a madness that is lit by half-researched information by the media, to pour oil into the burning barell we would say in Austria meaning that this way the situation can get worse by the wrong choice of wording.
The situation sounds all too familiar to me when I think of the gulf war years ago, where historians were employed to give their high valued opinion only to find out years later that they mis-interpreted the situation entirely.
I even thought of going to Russia myself to find out if the war is even happening or not as in many reviews and interviews given, I have analysed in the past weeks, the interviewees have heard something but no one saw anything.
The next day, several video clips were re-worked and talked over by commentators edited and cut in different manners, so that the original video could not be accessed again.
The only video that remained intact was by Reuters published by Sky News and had the signing of the peace treaty by president Putin and the two representatives of the Luhansk and Donetzk people at the end of it.
To keep me from worrying I have taken up chess games against myself in my spare time and with every game I play, the chess pieces seem to be a reminder that the crisis can not go any further, what would happen if these were real people I asked myself once when I stopped playing.
The theme I created for myself is: Every day is a good day for diplomacy.
I might not be talking Russian nor Ukranian but I am used to listen to English dubbing and translations and thereby can analyse situations which others might interprete wrongly as they keep listening to the beginning but loose interest or do not keep track reading subtitles. My point I am making is: Do not jump to conclusions when you haven’t heard the entire story.
This is the difference between art criticism where I can go back to a long lasting experience in viewing and reviewing art exhibitions but in this case with the crisis in Eastern Europe every word and facial expression counts.
Without that as a foreigner you are lost and rather not say a word about it as you might unleash something that you do not want to be involved in or might incur a reaction solely by mis-interpretation of the situation.
For me the signing of the peace treaty is the way into the right direction and I believe that all parties will adhere to it.
The mistake we should not make however, and this is vital, is to become yellow press and shout out paroles or unreflected headlines that scare the public or might just ignite that barrel I used as an analogy before-hand.
The people of Ukraine and Russia should not suffer under the crisis that should have ended before it began, they suffer and I would draw the attention to today’s report about Russian civilians suffering from the sanctions of the Western world, all those artists and poets as well as general public per se, They are people too and one-sided journalism and criticism does not help the situation.
In my notes yesterday I said, flipping through a local newspaper and the accounts there, It seems that independant journalism is dead.
The main issue I see is thst every Eastern European citizen has their own account and approach to the story but we mustn’t forget that our grand-fathers grew up in fear of Russia as they participated in wars againts Eastern Europe, Still us today, we need to free ourselves from the past and adhere to the most principle rule, that everyone needs to be allowed to tell their side of the story otherwise one view is told but the other side is silenced as well as thereby the principle of democracy, free speech.
More about my second book about the Sistine Chaple in comparison with contemporary art from 2017 until today which I have seen and reviewed and curated myself in the past years to follow.
All my best wishes and keep an open mind,
Daniela Haberz, M.A.
Wealth Adviser for Art as Investment & Independant journalist
AØH Art Consultancy Haberz Limited (by Guarantee), London, United Kingdom