OPHELIA

Live Performance + Video Sculpture
World Tour
Miami, New York, San Francisco, Cologne, Santa Cruz, Sindelfingen, London, Munich, Saarbrücken

“OPHELIA” is an architectural live performance and video sculpture that draws from the Shakespearean character Ophelia and alludes to John Everett Millais’s homonymous painting (1851-52). Marcin re-imagines this mythical character within the framework of gender inequality and climate change, by displaying the relationship between the destruction of the biosphere by the hands of mankind and the history of female hysteria and women’s oppression.
The 21st century “OPHELIA” has been the symbol of thousands of counterfeit Ophelia memes by various authors, playfully multiplying and democratizing the icon’s one-dimensional symbolism. By invoking the historical icon of Ophelia, Marcin offers a contemporary feminist critical gaze to denounce the violence carried out for centuries on both women and nature.
“OPHELIA” additionally plays upon art and literature icons “Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank” (Jeff Koons, 1985), and “The Werld” (Daniil Kharms, 1939)—merging history, body, art, science, and technology to parallel relationships between the destruction of the biosphere and gender inequality, speaking to the democratizing power of the meme.
Unveiled as video-sculpture during Art Basel Miami Beach 2017 at Art CONTEXT Miami’s VIP Lounge, “OPHELIA” was 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. OPHELIA then was also shown at the Fridman Gallery in New York, as well as with the support of the Goethe Institute in San Francisco at the Minnesota Street Project where the performance was enthusiastically received, witnessed in articles such as Cultured Magazine “Nadja Verena Marcin’s Ophelia Goes on a World Tour” and San Francisco Chronicle “Ophelia returns after 300 years with new message“ . The three-year traveling exhibition was followed by a presentation at Moltkerei Werkstatt e.V. of Cologne, supported by Kulturamt of Cologne, thereafter exhibited as video installation at Nube Gallery, Bolivia in Santa Cruz in Bolivia with the support of the Simón I. Patiño Foundation, and in February 2019 as a first solo museum show at the SCHAUWERK in Sindelfingen, Stuttgart before “OPHELIA” traveled to the group show “Staring at the Sun” at the Ecofutures Festivals in London. From July till September it will be shown at the group show “The Big Sleep” in Munich and finally exhibited as solo show at the Stadtgalerie in Saarbrücken from September till January 2019.
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 as well as all collaborating art institutions and galleries.