The library room is lighted in red. In front of the room an artist 1 plays computer games from the beginning until the end of the performance. The artist 2 enters through cellar’s window with a trumpet from which coins fall out instead sound. The artists 3&4, with heavy makeup on their face, sit on tables in two opposite corners. The artists 5&6 begin drum ’n’ bass groove and the trumpet start to roar. The artists 7&8 come into the library, bringing levers and fishes, putting them on a table and start beating them with meat hammer. Pieces of levers and fishes fly throughout the room. Once they made enough mixed flesh material, the artists 3&4 come to them, take the smashed flesh, put it in preservatives, get back to corners and start to cast them at the audience. The “musicians” increase tempo, and the “butchers” beat the flesh harder. The artists 3&4 come and repeat the previous act. The “butchers” continue to beat in a form of a “tribal dance” around the table. The smell of flesh dominates the room. The rhythm slows until stops. The “butchers” pose with blooded knife for an hour, until the last person from audience left the library. The white light turns on. The room is full of blood. The smell is intensive.
Combining almost randomly chosen symbols of transcultural value, whether by self-satisfying repetitive game, giving money, sound mantras, making sacrifice, or by the ultimate gift – giving sacrifice in flesh and blood, Ambrosia create a simulacrum of a gift giving ritual and explore a range of a principle of reciprocal exchange (Mauss’s) within social context of artist and their audience. With the art performance “The Bleeding Floor”, by offering the ultimate gift in flesh and blood, Ambrosia tests an act of possible transgression of this stratification. Ambrosia exposes the audience to temptation to step out of a common modus of being an esthetical receiver which repays an artistic gift by applause, praise, or by any other expression of excitement (in a general commodification of art also by paying for ticket, book, record, etc). Ambrosia requires from the audience to repay the artistic gift by full participation or even to increase their share – symbolic or creative – in the artistic act thus establishing a situation of an artistic potlatch.
Fernala Sejmen – Banjac, Martin S. Past, Ognjen Šavija, Mirza Krupalija, Igor Banjac, Ranko Milanović – Blank, Inga Huković, Nidžara
Library “Zajedno”, Sarajevo, 08.12.1997.