Marina Abramovic is cancelling her plans to open a performance art institute in Hudson, N.Y. due to lack of funding to complete the project, reported Cristina Ruiz for The Art Newspaper. Abramovic had raised over $660,00 during a 2013 Kickstarted campaign but a total of $31 million is needed to renovate the building as designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas of OMA.
In a talk at London's Serpentine Sackler Gallery on October 4, 2017, the artist announced that she was unsuccessful in raising the renovation funds and would abandon the project and most likely sell the building, reported The Art Newspaper. The $660,00 raised was paid to Koolhaas to design the project and convert the 33,000-square foot building into a unique space where performance art and multidisciplinary projects could unfold, according to The Art Newspaper.
Abramovic described Koolhaas's designs as "absolutely beautiful" in the talk hosted by Fondation Beveler and USB at the gallery but when the price tag for the project was revealed, Abramovic said that she "just lost my breath," according to The Art Newspaper. "I, as a performance artist, could never raise $31 million unless some amazing guy from the Emirates [came forward] or some Russian who just wrote a check because he believed in me. But in real life, that doesn’t happen.”
Abramovic purchased a 1936 former theater in Hudson, N.Y. with the plan to convert the building into the home of Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI). Visitors and artists alike would be able to experience or learn artist techniques developed by Abramovic for her durational performances. It would also become a space where multidisciplinary collaborations could be developed and presented to the public.
The founding of MAI was inspired by Abramovic's 2010 retrospective exhibition "The Artist is Present" at MoMA in New York. The centerpiece was a durational performance that had Abramovic sitting across the table from visitors who took turns gazing into her eyes in silence.
She announced plans for the Marina Abramovic Institute in The Hamptons during a 2013 talk at Watermill Center where she described the performance art space and its planned features, illustrated by a slide show.
During this week's talk at Serpentine Sackler Gallery, Abramovic said MAI would continue to present durational performances and performance art as invited. “Our slogan now is: ‘Don’t come to us; we come to you,’” Abramovic said, according to The Art Newspaper.
Since its founding, MAI has operated as a traveling institute and has presented workshops and off-site projects in São Paulo (2015), Athens (2016) as well as "numerous iterations of the Method" in Sydney, Buenos Aires, Basel and Toronto, according to www.mai.art.
The Abramovic Method is described by MAI as a "public participatory event joining people in a communal experience to connect with oneself and with each other. Inside this non-discriminatory and non-hierarchical space, the public participates in a number of exercises and observes others as they participate."
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