8/11/2013

SYMBOLIC SUICIDE

Text from Migrate Magazine "Meat" issue

SYMBOLIC SUICIDE

We all have a little evil voice living inside us that at times tells us to do things we shouldn’t. Artist John U. Abrahamson (JUA) listened to that voice and took a journey of survival, pain and reflection. As you view his work and those uneasy
feelings emerge, times them by a few million and you start to understand what this artist lived and nearly died through to create his exhibition, Flesh and Blood.
 
JUA literally shed his own flesh and blood and purged himself into a life of pain to create this series. Flesh and Blood could be perceived as a symbolic suicide.

He created a hanging prone human form comprised from 660 vials of his own blood and 100 vials of skin suspended by fishing lines from a metal structure hovering over his open journals. People were invited to tear up his writings and take pages home with them – in essence to participate in the destruction of his journals. This served as a metaphoric and transitional rite of passage, a rebirth for John as an artist. JUA spoke about his personal journey, “The spiritual connection it had for me and how I literally put myself into the work is hard to express.
 
I pushed myself in a way that was much like killing myself. In the beginning I thought of it as a false suicide. I thought, I can’t kill myself, but this is as close as I can come.”

By destroying his journals and giving his blood to the point of compromising his health, he honestly thought that the natural conclusion of the show would be death. In the course of the progression, it became a much more spiritual journey.


38 The issue Printed on Antalis HiQ Titan Plus Matt 250g/m2|cover| and 148g/m2|text| The issue 39

John Abrahamson Flesh&Blood Los Angeles


 

 


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