Wednesday January 14, 2015, 8pm
Stoke Newington, London
Free, Location will be provided in confirmation email
Please Note: this event is now SOLD OUT
What happens when two pregnant naked women stand in a doorway facing each other and wait for people to pass between them? Do we recall the pregnant virgin Mary visiting pregnant Elisabeth to share a miracle with her? Or do we recall Picasso’s two pregnant smokers? Or do we recall Marina Abramović and Ulay who wouldn’t let visitors enter a gallery without touching their naked bodies?
The book Life II [in Progress] is based on an ongoing, long-term project by Janez Janša that accompanies a group of women through pregnancy and motherhood, creating full-figure images, which bear an intense confrontation with the persons photographed. The images of naked, pregnant women and nursing mothers with their children arouse pleasant feelings, joy, and empathy. At same time, the series of photographs expresses an uncertainty through their repetition and lack of completion, raising fundamental existential questions as to why and how to live.
On the occasion of the book’s launch, the Live Art Development Agency presents an evening with the artist Janez Janša and two contributors to the book, Tim Etchells and Adrian Heathfield. Janša will give a short presentation of the project, followed by an open talk with the three guests.
On the book
This extensively illustrated book with exceptional photos by Nada Žgank provides texts from acclaimed writers written especially for this project. Live Art theorist Adrian Heathfield explores Janša’s procedures of re-enactment and reconstruction, the director and writer Tim Etchells addresses the act of transition, the philosopher Mladen Dolar reflects on the glorification of childhood through Kafka and Oedipus, the art historian Amelia Jones gives a detailed comparison between the performance Imponderabilia by Marina Abramović and Ulay and Life II [in Progress], whilst the performing arts theorist Aldo Milohnić investigates art that creates with the law.
“There is a deeply philosophical, and melancholic, dimension to the way in which Janša flirts with the oblivion of time by defining a project that involves the staging of a situation repeatedly into an unknowable future. Far more than a simple art encounter (whatever that may mean), the project in its iterations – as staged, live event as well as life-sized photographs – unfolds over time as an opportunity for engaging not only with other bodies, including the radically strange bodies of pregnant women, but with our own aging and mortality.” — Amelia Jones
The book, including documentary material, illustrations and instructions for small actions, is multidimensional: it is a theory reading, a catalogue and, last but not least, an interactive art object designed by the excellent Slovenian designer Ajdin Bašić.
Published by Maska Ljubljana, the International Centre of Graphic Arts Ljubljana and Live Art Development Agency, London.
English, 192 pages, 17x24cm, 70 bw and colour illustrations, 25€ / £20
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