Marina Abramovic´ (b. 1946 Belgrade) is one of the superstars of contemporary art. Her career has extended over more than 50 years, and she has made (art) history with her legendary performances. Yet there has never been a comprehensive show of her work in Switzerland. The exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zürich, which features sculptures, videos, installations and performances, offers an insight into the life’s work of this unique artist.
Marina Abramovic´ has always tested the boundaries of her own physical and mental endurance – and invited the public to share those experiences with her. In her later work, she focuses on the elevation of the human spirit, meditation and healing. For her, every work is a new experience of herself, both mentally and emotionally. In it, she challenges herself, and us as visitors. This was evident in her famed performance ‘The Artist Is Present’ (2010) at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Eight hours a day for three months, the artist sat at a table and invited audience members to sit opposite her. All physical and verbal contact was forbidden, and a connection was established solely via the gaze and the eyes. It was a cathartic experience. As Abramovic´ herself puts it: ‘I’m a performance artist. I want to make something the public can interact with, can feel, can have a personal experience with their own kind of energy.’
Marina Abramovic´’s first major exhibition in Switzerland is being developed in close collaboration with the artist. The exhibition is a cooperation with the Royal Academy in London, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
Ill.: Marina Abramovic´, The Artist is Present, Performance at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2010, photo: Marco Anelli © Courtesy of the Marina Abramovic´ Archives / 2023, ProLitteris, Zurich