Marina Abramovic’s exhibition is composed of several video projections, which explore how sexuality and the human body were employed in Balkan pagan traditions and culture throughout history. Abramovic researched Serbian folklore and discovered historic instances of the employment of eroticism and sexuality to address everyday issues. For example, if it rained too much, the women of the village would run into the fields and lift their skirts in an attempt to scare the gods and end the rain. Along with amateur actors, Abramovic dressed in traditional folk costumes and reenacted ancient rituals. The videos examine Balkan folklore and culture, the power of sexuality and tradition.
Abramovic, born in 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale for her video installation/performance piece Balkan Baroque. Recent solo exhibitions have included: Seven Easy Pieces, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Star, Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, Japan; Marina Abramovic: The Hero, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Marking the Territory, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland; The Hunt, Center for Contemporary Art Kitakyushu, Kitakyushu, Japan; Spirit Houses, Bourganeuf, France; Marina Abramovic, Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Como, Italy, and Public Body – Artist Body, The Kunstverein Hannover, Germany. Abramovic has a forthcoming retrospective in 2008 at the Kunst und Ausstellunghalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germany.
In January 2006, Marina Abramovic: Balkan Epic will be on view as part of the Art for the World Project at Pirelli in Milan, Italy. Balkan Erotic Epic, a monograph of the project, will be published on the occasion of the exhibition.