OPHELIA

20 min
Live Performance + Video Sculpture
MIAMI: DECEMBER 2017
NEW YORK: FEBRUARY 2018
SAN FRANCISCO: MARCH 2018
BOLIVIA: MAY 2018
COLOGNE: SEPTEMBER 2018
BERLIN: OCTOBER 2018
ROME: NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018
SINDELFINGEN: FEBRUARY 2019
LONDON: TBD 2019

OPHELIA is an architectural live performance and video sculpture, focusing on the human destruction of the biosphere. OPHELIA invokes historical icons Ophelia (John Everett Millais, 1852), Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Jeff Koons, 1985), and The Werld (Daniil Kharms, 1939)—merging body, art, science, and technology to parallel relationships between the Anthropocene age and gender inequality, speaking to the democratizing power of the meme. Floating in a salt-water solution in a life-size stainless steel sarcophagus, wearing a breathing mask and Ophelia’s dress, the artist Nadja Verena Marcin will quote text from Daniil Kharms’ The Werld about our limited human subjective perception. The image of a nineteenth-century Ophelia, supported via a breathing mask and reconfigured within a technologically constructed reality, becomes a metaphor for our current state of existence in the Anthropocene Period.

Awarded a Franklin Furnace Fund Grant and sponsored by a successful Kickstarter campaign, OPHELIA was unveiled as video-sculpture during Art Basel Miami Beach 2017 at CONTEXT Art Miami’s VIP Lounge, and highlighted both in Artnet's Everything You Need to Know About All 23 Artfairs at Art Basel Miami Beach and Hyperallergic's Your Concise Guide Miami Art Week 2017. Following the video-sculpture’s premiere in Miami, the project’s next iteration premiered the live performance at Fridman Gallery in New York, as the opening act of the New Ear Festival of sound and performance art, on February 2, 2018. After Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco, curated by Amy Kisch of AKArt, the work will travel to Nube Gallery in Santa Cruz, Bolivia (April); SomoS in Berlin as part of the Gallery Weekend Berlin (April / May); Moltekerei e.V. in Cologne, Germany as part of the DC Open Gallery Weekend (September); AlbumArte in Rome, Italy, curated by Giulia Casalini of Arts Feminism Queer (November / December); and Museum Schauwerk in Sindelfingen, Germany (February 2019). The Goethe Institut of San Francisco will accompany the exhibition with panels, lectures, and workshops.

Marcin’s work has been presented 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. OPHELIA has been made possible, in part, by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by Jerome Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and with general operating support from the New York State Council on the Arts.