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A career-spanning survey on Marina Abramovic, created in close collaboration with the legendary performance artist.
Over the past half century, Marina Abramovic has earned worldwide acclaim as a pioneer of performance art. In the fall of 2023 the Royal Academy in London is staging a massive exhibition featuring works from her entire career. Re-performances of some of her best-known and most radical works join new works created for the exhibition. Produced in collaboration with the artist, this important publication brings expert voices into the debate that Abramovic’s work engenders. How far should an artist push herself in pursuit of her work? What role does the audience play in creating a performance? How can performance art outlive the moment in which it takes place?
Among the book’s authoritative authors are Karen Archey, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Adrian Heathfield, Professor of Performance and Visual Culture at the University of Roehampton, London; Svetlana Racanovic, Professor of Theory of Contemporary Art in the Faculty of Fine Arts Cetinje at the University of Montenegro; Andrea Tarsia, curator of the exhibition and Director of Exhibitions at the Royal Academy; Devin Zuber, Associate Professor of American Studies, Religion and Literature at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley and George F. Dole Professor of Swedenborgian Studies at the Center for Swedenborgian Studies, Berkeley. In an interview with Tim Marlow, Abramovic reflects on her extraordinary career and expands on the ideas behind the exhibition. Using an image-recognition app, images in the book are linked to video content, so readers can see many of Abramovic’s original performance pieces come to life.
Marina Abramovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, former Yugoslavia, in 1946. Now an icon of performance art, Abramovic is known internationally for her endurance pieces in which she subjects herself to unusual and often extreme conditions. From 1977 to 1988 she worked closely with West German artist Uwe «Ulay” Laysiepen, with whom she produced several of her most significant works. Her 2010 solo piece The Artist Is Present served in part to introduce a new generation to Abramovic’s oeuvre; in this piece, which took place over the course of three months, Abramovic sat at a table in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, for eight hours a day as different strangers sat opposite her, holding one another’s gaze for a minute each. She is one of the founders of the Marina Abramovic Institute.
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