“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 Art Fair in Tourin in 2010 LIUBA decided to create a new performance based on the theme of the embrace, involving 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.”
This performance was made in 2010 at Artissima Opening in Tourin, Italy. From the performance I had a nice series of photos and video recordings. In 2020, according with the COVID-19 emergency, this simple action of embracing people seems very strange because it has been forbidden in order to stop the pandemic. For this reason, I decide to create a video from this work, which has been finished in 2020 during the Quarantine, thinking that hugs are a crucial need to explore in this historical moment.