In a unique work created for the Serpentine, the internationally acclaimed artist Marina Abramović will perform in the Gallery for the duration of her exhibition: 10am to 6pm, 6 days a week –for a total of 512 hours. Creating the simplest of environments in the Gallery spaces, Abramović’s only materials will be herself, the audience and a selection of common objects that she will use in a constantly changing sequence of events. On arrival, visitors will both literally and metaphorically leave their baggage behind in order to enter the exhibition: bags, jackets, electronic equipment, watches and cameras may not accompany them. The public will become the performing body, participating in the delivery of an unprecedented moment in the history of performance art.
Marina Abramović (b. 1946) is a pioneer of performance as an art form, using her own body as subject and object, she has pushed the physical and mental limits of her being. 512 Hours is the first major performance by Abramović since her monumental piece The Artist is Present, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2010, in which visitors were invited to sit in silence opposite the artist and gaze into her eyes for an unspecified amount of time. Abramović performed this work every day for three months.
Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Galleries, have said: “Incredibly, this is the first time a public art gallery in the UK has staged a durational performance by Marina Abramović who, since the early 1970s, has done more than anybody to define what performance art is. With a simplicity that harks back to her earliest solo performances, this time there are no rules. There is no formula. Just the artist, the audience and a few, simple props in the empty, white space of the Serpentine Gallery. Marina requests your presence at the Serpentine this Summer. And so do we.”
512 Hours draws on the history of Abramović’s use of her body as the basic material of her artwork. During her exhibition at the Serpentine, the artist will, for the first time, commit to an unscripted and improvised presence in the space of the Gallery.
The exhibition by Ed Atkins takes place concurrently at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, bringing together two extraordinary artists from different generations who focus on performance, the body and language.
The Serpentine Galleries summer programme, including both exhibitions and the Serpentine Galleries Pavilion 2014 have been generously supported by the Lars Windhorst Foundation, a leading supporter across the entire summer season at the Serpentine.