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This Marina Abramovic Center is Going to Be Very Interesting

Just to get you up to speed really quickly: Marina Abramovic pretty much set fire to the New York art world in 2010 with The Artist is Present, in which Abramovic sat in a chair at MoMA, and then people would sit in the opposite chair and stare at her. This was apparently a very spiritual experience for some people; moreover, the piece was only the most talked-about part of the large Abramovic retrospective that MoMA had mounted at the same time. What was particularly interesting is that Abramovic is a performance artist, and generally speaking it’s not terribly easy to do a retrospective of that sort of work. MoMA by all accounts succeeded wildly, whatever they did, and now Abramovic is set to release the design for her long-planned new Center for the Preservation of Performance Art today, which is sort of the MoMA exhibition made permanent, unless it isn’t, which it might not be, because Marina Abramovic likes to mess with people. The CPPA will be in Hudson, two hours upstate from Manhattan, and it’s going to feature such things as a room for drinking water in slow motion and maybe a levitation room, although I’m not sure that’s a thing, and everyone’s going to wear lab coats, and visitors will be asked to sign a contract pledging that they’ll stay for at least six hours, all of this devoted to an effort to preserve something that is by nature ephemeral, which will maybe turn out to be Abramovic’s true masterpiece, if she can pull it off. (FULL ARTICLE: Melena Ryzik, The New York Times)

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