Serbian artist Marina Abramovic – the world-renowned pioneer of contemporary performance art – is known for pushing the limits of her body and spirit through her art, unafraid of the consequences, whether they be pain, danger or exhaustion. In 1997 she was awarded with the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale, in 2008 with Austria’s Commander Cross, while in 2010 (at her largest retrospective in New York), she also realised her longest performance that lasted 700 hours, entitled ‘The Artist is Present’.
Now, the controversial performance artist has come to the Benaki Pireos, to test her ‘Abramovic method’ on the Greek public – we’re in for some interesting results for sure, considering the Greek temperament! Hopefully they will keep calm and carry on: when asked to leave their cell phone, watch and other valuables outside, before they enter the exhibition space, where they will be asked to count rice and sand grains among other things in a range of excercises aimed to connect them with their selves and others around them. This series of events and performances has been realised via the collaboration of MAI (Marina Abramovic Institute) and NEON (a non-profit organisation headed by collector Dimitris Daskalopoulos).
Entitled ‘As One’, this Abramovic art lab/performance hothouse at the Benaki Pireos kicks off on Thursday, March 10, noon till 8pm. The events continue through till April 24 and include talks with Abramovic, many performances by 29 participating Greek and international artists, video screenings about Abramovic and her work, 2 re-performances by Abramovic, workshops, plus, the instalment of the ‘Mutual Wave Machine’. This device, is a neuroscience experiment of sorts, in which two people participate, trying to see if they can get on the same wavelength with each other once enclosed in its small capsule and subject to its audiovisual environment therein. For a full rundown of events, visit NEON’s site: neon.org.gr.
(Below, photo from ‘The Artist is Present’ performance)