Squeeze through naked models to see Marina Abramović’s new retrospective in London

Renowned Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović is receiving a prestigious retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, marking the institution’s first dedicated exhibition to a female artist and its debut venture into performance art.

Abramović’s career spanning over five decades has consistently challenged the boundaries of physical and mental endurance in the pursuit of art. The exhibition invites visitors to actively engage with the world of performance art, exemplified by the entrance guarded by two naked models, reenacting her iconic 1977 work “Imponderabilia.”

Throughout her career, Abramović has left an indelible mark on the art world, with notable works like “Rhythm 0” in 1974, where she allowed the audience to interact with her, culminating in a loaded gun pointed at her head. Her 2010 work “The Artist Is Present” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York drew thousands of participants who found profound connections with the artist.

The retrospective offers an immersive journey through Abramović’s work, featuring objects, props, photos and videos from her daring performances. “Balkan Baroque,” a visceral piece from the Venice Biennale in 1997, showcases her deep connection to her heritage.

Intriguingly, the exhibition includes four live performances reimagining Abramović’s work, off-limits to media coverage and recording. “The House with the Ocean View” stands out, with performers residing in a confined space for 12 consecutive days.

Axel Rüger, secretary and chief executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, emphasised the exhibition’s significance, stating, “Marina is passing the baton over to the next generation of young performance artists, who are reperforming her performances.”

This retrospective, a testament to Marina Abramović’s enduring impact on art, is open at the Royal Academy of Arts from September 23, 2023, to January 1, 2024, offering a unique opportunity to experience the evolution of performance art through her groundbreaking career.

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