Film Screenings | 8 Lessons and Dangerous Games

AUDITORIUM

8 Lessons Documentary, 2008
Video courtesy of Marina Abramovic archives

Marina’s work 8 Lessons on Emptiness with a Happy End communicates profound anxiety about the excess of contemporary representations of violence. 8 Lessons is a complex video installation, that should, along with its companion photographic series, be understood as a counterpoint to the countless atrocities represented everywhere. Marina employs a performative strategy of re-creating stylized warfare psychodrama performed by children, meant to lead to spiritual purification. This film documents the production of this particular artwork.

 

Dangerous Games, 2008
Video courtesy of Marina Abramovic archives

In a small house with oversized furniture, located in a rice field in Asia, some children wearing army clothes and weapons, start playing war, creating between each other two armies and using children’s toys, laser weapons, machine guns and helicopters. Slowly, as the game progresses, they start imitating war scenes as seen on TV, such as negotiations and death scenes.  At the end of the film, the children are coming out of the house and they deposit their weapons in front of it. The smallest child comes out in the end with a burning bramble stick in his hand and lights the pile of weapons. All the children leave while the pile is burning. 

In over twenty countries around the world, children are direct participants in war. Denied a childhood and often subjected to horrific violence, an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 children are serving as soldiers for both rebel groups and government forces in current armed conflicts. Dangerous Games is a work of fiction