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Marina Abramovic: 8 Lessons on Emptiness with a Happy End

In the center of the show will be Abramovic’s newest 5 channel video installation – “8 Lessons on Emptiness with a Happy End”. This work deals with a subject matter that is specifically relevant to Israeli society: the excess of violence in modern times and specifically the long term effect this has on children. “8 Lessons on Emptiness with a Happy End” is a video installation in which Marina Abramovic addresses the topic of violence as it is portrayed in contemporary media. The five channels of the installation, recorded in Laos, are organized in a long frieze, consisting of one central image flanked by two vertical and two horizontal ones. They alternate between archetypical scenes of warfare, referring to television and video games, and images from nature – a waterfall, an island and a Spirit Tree – which relate to spiritual life in Laos. The warfare scenes, enacted by children and Marina Abramovic herself, encourage compassion and responsibility. The title of the work refers to the traditional Buddhist notion of emptiness – emptying the mind to allow transformation to a different state, in this case to achieve purification through the viewing process. Ideologically, “”8 Lessons on Emptiness with a Happy End” differs from most political-activist contemporary work, which usually has an opposing quality; here, Marina Abramovic calls for compassion, critiques violence and its representation, and offers an opportunity for redemption. Besides this work, a film called “Everything you always wanted to know about the making of a video installation” will be shown, about the making of this video work shot in Laos.

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