Mike Parr
Portrait of Marina Abramović (2024)

Mike Parr
Portrait of Marina Abramović (2024)

Mike Parr
Gotaro Uematsu
Zan Wimbley
Timothy Vernon Moore
Rebecca Anne Khoury
Lauren Brincat
Friday 1 Mar 12PM - 12AM ACDT
Friday 1 Mar 2:30AM - 2:30PM CET
Thursday 29 Feb 8:30PM - Friday 1 March 8:30 AM EST
Portrait of Marina Abramović is a continuation of a series of blind painting performances, which Mike Parr started to create in 2019. Parr’s blindness is self-imposed with the artist performing with his eyes closed from the moment of entering to the moment of exiting the performance. He will never see the work. Blind painting is an attempt at nothingness and creation and toward an ending and rebirth.

For 12 hours, Parr will paint 4 black squares and then 4 red squares over black squares followed again by black squares over red squares. He will repeat this alternating pattern working across a large-scale structure in Space Theatre. The black refers to Kazimir Malevich, whose Black Square (1915) embodied a refusal of Western painting, while the red references Abramović’s use of red in association with her ex-Yugslavian communist background. In this action, Parr is interested in the complexity and tensions in art’s ambiguity, performativity, and afterlives.
As of now more than 27,700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and more than 68,000 have been wounded. Many thousands are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble. The great majority of the dead and wounded are women & children. More than 1.9million Palestinians have been internally displaced and 400,000 are on the edge of starvation with a further 1 million at risk. Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defense minister, has declared that he has “released all restraints”, that the Israeli army is “fighting human animals” and that the plan is to “eliminate everything”. They may well succeed. As of now, more than 200 buildings of cultural and historical significance have been reduced to rubble by the Israeli onslaught, including mosques, cemeteries, and museums, not to mention the hospitals, universities and other important civic structures and thousands upon thousands of homes.

For 75 years the Israelis have been mauling the Palestinians. An illegal Israeli settler population of 730,000 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and for 17 years, 2.3 million people in Gaza have been trapped in the world’s largest open-air prison and still the privileged, powerful countries of our world do nothing, but watch, wait & facilitate as Israel turns itself into a pariah state.

My vision. The Jewish diaspora rises up to join hands, with its dissidents and the good people of Israel, to repudiate the obscene policies of its political leadership. To give the boot to false friends like Germany, propping up the fascistic fantasies of Netanyahu & his ilk, because Germany’s Staatsraeson can never be allowed to embrace Israel’s reason to be. So, the Jewish diaspora, with its wealth, its culture, its moral custodianship of memory, its liberality and its internationalism rises up to demand justice, freedom, prosperity for the Palestinian people and an end to the oppressions and the antisemitism of the apartheid Israeli state. Billions are pledged, billions are spent, and Palestine is re-born in freedom and prosperity with a golden Israel. This would be the possibility of poetry after Auschwitz.

Mike Parr, 7 February 2024.

I’m going home.
To the halfway house c. 1952.
The halfway house is on the dirt road between Southport & Nerang.
The house was pulled down years ago. Our 56 acres are now a
housing estate.
I have a gun.
You lot out now. I’m coming home.

Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben ist barbarisch.

[ Benjamin Netanyahu ]

Portrait of Marina Abramović
is produced as part of MAI Takeover at Adelaide Festival 2024.
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