July 30 2013

The Marina Abramović Institute

New York-Art

For 40 years our dear friend Marina Abramović has inspired us with her transcendent, provocative, sometimes terrifying performance art. During her last performance piece at The Museum of Modern Art entitled "The Artist Is Present" wherein she sat opposite anyone who wished to sit with her, engaging only via eye contact, something unexpected occurred. After 736 hours (that's 30 full days) she stood up, no doubt stretched her back, and found herself a changed person. "Something really changed in me," she explains in the video above. "It was the first time I understood this enormous need of the public to be part of the total experience. And that need was so profound that I got a vision, a literal three-dimensional vision of something I have to make right now."

That vision is now a piece of real estate with a plan to build the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI), a place dedicated to the preservation and presentation of long durational work where art, science, technology, and spirituality combine. "An institute for humanity," she calls it, "a laboratory where the public is no longer public anymore. They are a participant." And what could be more fitting for such a venture than a kickstarter campaign. Even though performance art has a particular affinity for elongating time, in this instance, Marina insists, "there is no time to lose." So get kick starting!

P.S. How many performance artists does it take to change a lightbulb? Watch and find out.