SXSW Film 2016 review: ‘The Space in Between — Marina Abramovic and Brazil”

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Marina Abramovic at Jardim de Maytreia, Chapada dos Veadeiros, Goiás. (Credit: Cauê Ito)
Marina Abramovic at Jardim de Maytreia, Chapada dos Veadeiros, Goiás. (Credit: Cauê Ito)

Marina Abramovic at Jardim de Maytreia, Chapada dos Veadeiros, Goiás. (Credit: Cauê Ito)

Marina Abramovic’s DNA is galactic, a spiritual healer told her. Abramovic is the world-renowned Serbian performance artist most will probably know from the well-done HBO biography/historical documentary “The Artist is Present” (2012).

“The Space in Between” is Abramovic’s latest performance piece. She’s on a spiritual journey through Brazil, getting to know some of its more esoteric shamans, healers and spiritual organizations. Abramovic is fascinated with the connections between ritual and performance and the transformations that take place.

She is bathed in earth and is washed clean by a plant healer. She’s fitted with quartz shoes to travel mentally, and she takes ayahuasca twice, first in what essentially becomes a bad trip and the second becomes a more revelatory positive psychedelic experience.

The question for audiences is if it’s that interesting to follow Abramovic on her spiritual journey. There is no doubt that Abramovic is bold as she puts her physical and mental self on raw display through some intense situations. The cinematography in itself is beautifully psychedelic and offers some transcendence in its own right.

The irony of the film is that it is a montage of spiritual happenings through a narcissistic lens, a reach to grasp selflessness through a type of self obsession. You can catch “The Space in Between” at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the Rollins, and at 7:30 p.m. March 18 at the Stateside.

 

 


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