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Gina Pane studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and became known in the 1970s for her body-orientated performances. In Non-aestheticized Climbing (1971, Paris) she climbed, barefoot, a ladder with rungs studded with razor blades. Her use, on this and other occasions, of self-inflicted injury was intended to bring real experience (through empathy with her discomfort) into the viewer’s appreciation of her art. Other early performances were conceived as complex visualizations of psychological states and conflicts. Sentimental Action , which she described as a ‘projection of an intra space’, dealt with the mother–child relationship, and other works investigated the individual’s response to other similarly complex relationships. The photographic documentation shows the artist dressed in white, her face hidden behind a bunch of roses, her outstretched arm bleeding from punctures inflicted by tacks (see Lippard, 1976). Other works for which Pane is known include Mezzogiorno a Alimena (1978–9; Bologna, Gal. Com. A. Mod.; San Francisco, CA, A. Inst. Gals; Paris, Pompidou) which combined painting, drawing objects, a colour video showing nails being stuck in a woman’s bare arm and projections of archetypal images on to a television screen. In the 1980s and 1990s Pane concentrated on installations.
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