Levitation, Superman’s Flight, and the Prose of Life

The Monist 101 (3):340-352 (2018)

This article discusses works of two artists—Marina Abramović and Elżbieta Jabłońska —who explore a clash between heroism and everydayness in the kitchen space. Everyday routine inexorably demands being performed. Its uncompromising decrees spare neither mystics nor the free souls of artists. Even the most spiritual people must eat and drink. To solve the conflict of matter and spirit, these artists draw on different traditions that transcend reality: mysticism and the superheroes of popular culture, respectively. Abramović enters the kitchen as St. Teresa of Avila while Jabłońska dons Superman’s cap. Does one have to rise above the ground to feel that cooking, cleaning, and washing up are not beyond the powers of an average woman? Are the body and the soul doomed to fight each other permanently? Each artist’s work suggests different answers and solutions.
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DOI 10.1093/monist/ony010
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