Marina Abramovic was born in 1946, Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Her 19-minute performance entitled Breathing In/Breathing Out (1977), involved Marina and her partner literally relinquishing their anatomy and becoming united by sharing the most elementary unit of life - a single breath.They blocked their nostrils, locked their mouths together, and synchronized their breathing.They persisted nineteen minutes to the brink of asphyxiation. In Nightsea Crossing (1981-1986) they experienced meditation through fasting, silence, and staring transfixed into each other's eyes for up to sixteen days, for as long as the museum was open. They were the work of art!
Felix Gonzalez-Torres was born in 1957, Guaimaro, Cuba, and immigrated to the US at the age of eleven. His sculpture, Untitled (Perfect Love), was made and displayed in 1987 to 1990, when his lover was suffering from AIDS. It consists of two identical, battery-operated clocks hung on a wall and set to the same exact times. This temporal context for love is derived from the emotional aftershock of watching his lover succumb to the HIV virus. Time is ticking away painfully. Their side-by-side position assumes the power of a gesture: they touch. Their synchronization envisions their relationship, the unison of love. Their identical forms indicate alike lovers; they are homosexuals.
Reference: Linda Weintraub, Art on the Edge and Over, Art Insights, Inc., Publishers, 1996.
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