Performance artist unveils plan for New York art center
NEW YORK — Performance artist Marina Abramovic plans to build a $15 million center in upstate New York devoted to the research and production of duration-based works of art lasting from six hours to several days.
She unveiled the design for The Marina Abramovic Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art at MoMA PS 1 on Monday.
Abramovic said the architectural firm OMA will transform a former tennis center in Hudson, N.Y., into a 23,000-square-foot facility featuring ramps and specially designed lighting and furniture, including chairs equipped with wheels for visitors who fall asleep during the lengthy performances.
Construction is expected to begin at the end of next year. The opening is projected for late 2014.
The 65-year-old artist said the institute will be part art center, part school, for ephemera performances involving video, opera, film, music, dance and theater in an environment that erases the boundary between artist and viewer as both don white lab coats and interact constantly.
Due to the marathon nature of the works, tired or sleeping visitors reclining on “durational chairs” will be rolled by an attendant to a sleep area and rolled back when they awake, all the while remaining a part of the performance piece.
Abramovic is famous for pushing the limits of her physical and mental endurance as a way of expanding her inner-most feelings and fears — and sometimes those of her viewers.
In one of her longest duration pieces, during a retrospective of her career at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2010, she sat in silence during the hours the museum was open, making eye contact with members of the public who sat across from her.
Abramovic also wants to use the center to teach her Abramovic Method, in which the viewer becomes the artist and vice versa.
“For the young artists we will have courses which will be in the countryside, without food, in complete isolation, not talking for a certain amount because it’s really important preparation of the mind to do performance work,” she said.