Kaldor Public Art Projects have announced a major new project with world-renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic who will travel to Sydney to create a new transformative public art experience over 12 days. Marina Abramovic: In Residence will be presented at Pier 2/3 in Sydney’s Walsh Bay from 24 June until 5 July 2015.
Marina Abramovic will conduct a series of exercises from the Abramovic Method, working with her assistants, to engage directly with visitors. The project represents the latest developments in Abramovic’s innovative four-decade-long career, during which she has continued to investigate the shifting roles of artist and audience, placing her work at the forefront of contemporary art practice.
“Marina Abramovic’s new Kaldor Public Art Project will be the first exhibition of its kind in Australia,” says John Kaldor, Director of Kaldor Public Art Projects.
“It offers an incredible and rare opportunity for the public to experience firsthand the work of this important artist and to be part of the evolution of her practice. This project also offers a great opportunity for Kaldor Public Art Projects to collaborate with MONA to showcase two very different aspects of Marina’s art.”
Leading on from the exhibition 512 Hours - presented from July until August in 2014 at London’s Serpentine Galleries to widespread acclaim - the artist’s new project for Sydney will focus on audience involvement and response. This project represents a continuation and development of The Abramovic Method, a series of exercises intended to open and expand the potential creativity of those who participate.
Working closely with collaborator Lynsey Peisinger, the artist will create a series of spaces for exhibition visitors that invoke specific physical and psychological states. For the duration of the project, Pier 2/3 will become an extraordinary and invigorating space for contemplation and creativity.
“I have made a career as a performance artist for 40 years now and my relationship to the public is changing,” said Abramovic. “It used to be very simple: the public was sitting in the audience and I was performing in front of them.”
“Then, with my performance The Artist is Present, I created a one-to-one experience where the public was watching and only one person was actually experiencing. In 512 Hours, which I did at the Serpentine Galleries in London, the public were actually the ones performing and I just blended in.
“In Sydney, for Marina Abramovic: In Residence, I will be like a conductor in the exhibition space, but it will be the public who will take the physical and emotional journey. We constantly like to be entertained, to get things from outside. We never take time to get in touch with ourselves… our inner self.”
“My function in this new kind of performance situation is to show you, through the Abramovi? Method, what you can do for yourself. I wanted to make this big change because I understood that actually you can’t get any experience by me doing it for you… So I’m completely shifting the paradigm, changing the rules.”
In addition to the expansive downstairs space at Pier 2/3 dedicated to Abramovic’s project, the upstairs area will simultaneously hold a 12-day-long artist residency, alongside an exciting program of special events for the general public that will run during exhibition hours.
Kaldor Public Art Projects believes the residency and public program will create an intensely creative environment onsite at the Pier, with a lasting legacy for both the public and the Australian arts industry. The residency will involve 12 Australian artists who will live onsite and be personally mentored by Abramovic.
To collaborate on this innovative new programming concept, Kaldor Public Art Projects have invited Sophie O’Brien to be the residency’s guest curator, working closely with Abramovic and our exhibition and public program teams.
Abramovic was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale, was listed as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2014, and has presented solo exhibitions at leading institutions around the world. She was the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2010 and from June until August 2014 she presented the significant new performance 512 Hours at the Serpentine Galleries in London.
Marina Abramovic: In Residence continues on from the success of the 13 Rooms exhibition, which attracted 30,000 visitors over 11 days in April 2013 to Pier 2/3 in Walsh Bay, Sydney. For more information, visit: www.kaldorartprojects.org.au for details.
Image: Marina Abramovic – photograph © 2014 Marco Anelli/Serpentine Galleries