There is something about Marina

The 'Marina Abramovic: artist in residence' has flown by, set to finish this Sunday. For a performance artist whose method explores endurance, 12 days at Walsh Bay is a very short stint. However, whether you are an enthusiast, cynic or just plain curious, there is something about the Abramovic method that has captured and maintained the unwavering attention of the world over.

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Introducing the audience to her practice, the project Marina Abramovic: In Residence is an inclusive twelve day performance at Pier 2/3. A work that can only be experienced and understood in person, it is a highly individual experience as you are led around the silent, chilly warehouse by Marina and her silent team. With ear mufflers blocking surrounding sound, it is only the sound of your own breathing that follows you as you are led through a series of endurance exercises – challenging even those with the best attention span.

Practising performance art for four decades now, this latest exhibition Marina Abramovic: In Residence is a performance that speaks of a well matured methodology. Defining this transformative practice as the ‘Abramovic Method’, the repetitive exercises and absence of any sense of time results in a consuming experience. The aim? To lead you to your “inner self”, and as Marina states, “slows down time.”

Describing her exhibitions as part of the ‘Abramovic Institution’, her practice has evolved and now travels to different countries all over the world. For Sydney this exhibition is unique, constructed for total audience participation. Rather than the focus be on the artist, Marina is now teacher and observer as she shares her practice with the audience.

“In Sydney, for ‘Marina Abramović: In Residence’, I will be like a conductor in the exhibition space, but it will be the public who will take the physical and emotional journey. We constantly like to be entertained, to get things from outside. We never take time to get in touch with ourselves… our inner self.”

Whether you reach this sense of meditation and release, or just give up frustrated by the futility of trying to divide an endless pile of different grains, Marina’s exercises successfully involve and test each participant.

A huge project, what is not to be missed is the  creative hub upstairs. Growing and developing for the last 7 days, select Australian performance artists are living on-site and working with Marina in their respective performance practices. The first time this creative project has been incorporated into Marina’s event, personally there is nothing more intriguing than sitting down and listening to the artist’s workshop their ideas.

But don’t take my word for it, the event is there ready and waiting for you to decide.

EXHIBITION
Marina Abramović: In Residence
Pier 2/3 Walsh Bay
Until 5 July, 2015

Image: Marina Abramović: In Residence, at Pier 2/3, 2015. Photo: Peter Greig
Courtesy the artist and Kaldor Public Art Projects 

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