Performance: Artissima, Tourin, 2010
Video: 2010 – 2019
series of photographs from the performance
The idea of the work began with feeling the discomfort conserning the often cold relations we have with others in our society, especially in the art world.
People often meet at art exhibitions or at art fairs  for business, for convenience, for new contacts or for working together but the dynamics of these meetings are almost always cold, impersonal, rushed and stressed. We are losing the ability to establish ‘warm’ and affective relationships with the others.
For this reason, LIUBA imagined an action where the focus of the performance is human contact, the embracing of one body with another body.
“Often, at an important Art Fair, people meet, talk, exchange opinions, make business … without ever truly meeting. It seems to me that our society is losing physicality and emotions, and that the relationship with the others is getting more mental or utilitarian, or even virtual, as with email, chat, social networking, and sms. Nevertheless, I am interested in the human side of people and in the the physicality of life.”
  • Untitled 2010, photos from the performance, variable size

“LIUBA, visual artist and performance artist known internationally, works with video, photo and urban interactive performance.

The unpredictability of human reactions to an unexpected and unusual act, like a hug from a stranger, makes the performance a kind of meta-language between social studies and artistic gesture. The performance touches some taboos and phobias endemic in our society which has now basically removed spontaneity and physicality from normal human relationships.


For Artissima 2010 LIUBA decided to create this new performance based on the theme of the embrace and involved directly the public visiting the exhibition. The artist walks through the corridors of the event dressed in white, barefoot, unexpectedly embracing people chosen at random. The hug may be more or less physical, long, affectionate, tender, depending on the sensitivity of those with whom it interacts.


The idea was born from the artist’s disappointment in human relations within the art world and in the coldness of the relationship with the people met in various contexts. “We often meet people for projects, business, convenience, duty .. but the dynamics of meetings are almost always cold, impersonal, rushed and stressed. We are losing the ability to establish relationships ‘hot’ with others, affective, starting a dialogue with the individuality and personality of each one.”


Olivia Spatola

All photos: © LIUBA 2010 – photos by Ivo Martin

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