Museum Stedelijk Showcases Marina Abramović

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‘Marina Abramović’ exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam features over 60 key works spanning five decades that trace the development of Marina Abramović ‘s prolific oeuvre: from her early work, created in former Yugoslavia and Amsterdam, to pioneering performances with her partner Ulay and works from her solo practice. ‘Marina Abramović‘ runs from 16 March to 14 July 2024.

‘Marina Abramović’ exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum. Photo_LJMV

The exhibition features photos, videos, sculptures, and live reperformances of four iconic performances being staged in the Netherlands for the first time: „Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful“ (1975), „Imponderabilia“ (work with Ulay) (1977), „Luminosity“ (1997), and „The House with the Ocean View“ (2002). Visitors are also invited to participate in two performances: „Work Relation“ (work with Ulay) (1978) and „Counting the Rice“ from the Abramović Method.

The performance Counting the Rice, in the entrance area. Photo_LJMV

Marina Abramović has been a prominent figure in performance and body art since the 1970s and is considered one of the most important founders of this art form.

She brought performance art from its experimental beginnings into the mainstream.

Using her body as her medium, Abramović consistently tests her mental and physical endurance.

‘Marina Abramović’ exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum. Photo_LJMV

Together with artist Ulay, whom she met in Amsterdam in 1975 and who became her partner, she caused an international sensation with long-durational performances that pushed their boundaries to the limit. In her later solo work, she focuses on spirituality and creating an exchange of energy between herself and the audience.

‘Marina Abramović’ exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum. Photo_LJMV

Marina’s retrospective exhibition, at least when it comes to her earlier works, is impossible to consider separately from Ulay. Marina and Ulay began to perform together, describing themselves as a “two-headed body”.

For years they lived a nomadic lifestyle, traveling across Europe in a van and performing in villages and towns. After 12 years, their professional and emotional relationship comes to an end. Marina Abramović’s work continued to reach larger and larger audiences; her celebrity grew.

‘Marina Abramović’ exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum. Photo_LJMV

In 2010, as part of the retrospective exhibition „The Artist is Present“ at the New York Museum of Modern Art, Abramović maintained an eight-hour daily silence, totaling 750 hours, seated at a table. The public was invited to join her, sit, and engage in a silent exchange.

However, one moment during the exhibition garnered significant global attention, accumulating nearly 20 million views on YouTube. On the opening night, Ulay made an unexpected appearance, emerging from the audience to sit face-to-face with his former partner. This encounter marked their first reunion in 22 years, evoking tears from both parties.

‘Marina Abramović’ exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum. Photo_LJMV

Marina Abramović’s performances have transitioned from experimental to mainstream. Despite or perhaps because of this, the ‘Marina Abramović’ exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum has caused a significant stir in the public and continues to attract a large number of visitors daily.

Amsterdam 2024. Photo_LJMV

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