July 24, 2018 by Staff
Nadja Verena Marcin | OPHELIA
Curated by Giulia Casalini
Exhibition Opening and Live Performance on Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Until December 15, 2018
AlbumArte is thrilled to present the Italian premiere of OPHELIA, the itinerant artistic project by artist Nadja Verena Marcin (b. 1982 in Würzburg, Germany; lives and works in Nwe York). The solo show is curated by Giulia Casalini, independent curator and co founder of CUNTemporary, a non-profit organisation based in London that works with individuals and groups to explore feminist and queer art practices and theories. The exhibition is developed in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Rom.
OPHELIA is an interdisciplinary, architectural performance—presented live and as video sculpture—which evokes anthropocentric attitudes and occurrences that have resulted in destruction of the biosphere. In the live performance the artist Nadja Verena Marcin reenacts Ophelia’s final moments—wearing a dress similar to Millais’s oil painting Ophelia (1851-2) and a breathing mask. While in a dreamlike state, she tries to quote from Daniil Kharms’ text The Werld (1939) on humanity’s subjective perception (“I told myself that I see the world. But the whole world was not accessible to my gaze, and I saw only parts of the world.”).
The performance takes place in front of a live audience at the opening reception which will be held at AlbumArte on November 14, 2018. The glass sarcophagus, elevated on metal legs, refers to Jeff Koons’ Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (1985), enabling the audience to witness the artist in this fragile and claustrophobic state. As much as OPHELIA tries to speak, it is impossible for her to be heard.The imminent prophecy conjured by OPHELIA is that our social superstructure (civilization) will be overpowered by nature’s forceful response to our corruption of it. Within this dire forecast stands the ethereal image of Ophelia—suspended and on life support—creating a poetic awareness of our fragile constitution and lending potential for a purer embrace of the precious nature of life than humans have chosen thus far.
Since December 2017, OPHELIA is on a world tour, which will now take the artwork through various stations by the end of 2019. OPHELIA was unveiled as video-sculpture during Art Basel Miami Beach 2017 at CONTEXT Art Miami’s VIP Lounge. Following the video-sculpture’s premiere in Miami, the project’s next iteration premiered the live performance at Fridman Gallery in New York; Minnesota Street Project; Moltkerei e.V. (Cologne); Nube Gallery (Santa Cruz, Bolivia). After AlbumArte’s Italian Premiere, OPHELIA will be presented at Museum Schauwerk (Sindelfinge, Germany), Art Pavillion (London) and during the Gallery Weekend in Berlin (September 2019).
The whole OPHELIA project was made possible tanks to the Franklin Furnace Fund Grant.
Nadja Verena Marcin (b. in Würzburg, Germany, 1982) lives and works in New York and NRW, Germany. In her performance-based work, Marcin examines the constructed persona, looking at the way the artist is an implicit figure. By creating a “theater of cinema” in which the audience can be immersed, Marcin brings awareness through a hyperbolic interpretation of relatable scenarios, enacting symbolic actions, catalyzing the visibility of hidden codes. Her work appropriates familiar imagery, and mirrors the ambiguities of human behavior and psychological mechanism. Marcin graduated from the Visual Art Department of New Genre, School of the Arts at Columbia University, New York in 2010, after obtaining a Diploma of Fine Arts from the Department of New Media at Academy of Fine Arts Münster. She has taught and lectured at P.I. Arts Center, New York, City College of New York and Brooklyn College. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at ZKM – Museum for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Zendai MOMA, Shanghai (Himalajas Museum); Museo National de Arte, La Paz; Veneto Videoart Archive, Verona; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley; ICA Philadelphia; Kunstmuseum, Bonn; 5th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow; Palacio Portales, Cochabamba; Haus der Kunst, Munich, and other venues. She has received grants, residencies, and prizes such as the Fulbright Award; DAAD Grant; Int. Artist Career Development Grant, Artworks Int; Film Production Grant, NRW Film-und Medienstiftung; Prize for ‘Art and Language,’ Kunststiftung Sparkasse UnnaKamen; ISCP Residency; Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant; Arbeitsstipendium, Kunststiftung Bonn; and Franklin Furnace Grant. Marcin’s work has been featured in Texte zur Kunst; Art Forum; VICE Creator’s Project; Huffington Post; Interview Magazine; Artnet News amongst others.