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Marina Abramović: a journey of personal boundaries

By pushing the limits of her body and mind, Marina Abramović has captivated audiences for the past 50 years. We were delighted to sponsor a private viewing of Marina’s work currently on show at the Royal Academy of Arts, including sculpture, video, installation and performance.

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Performance artist Marina Abromović famously presented herself as an object to be interacted with, standing motionless for eight hours, in a New York gallery in 1974. Next to her was a table of items that could create pleasure or pain. Audience members were initially shy, but their behaviour escalated. Someone kissed her, another person cut off her clothing and someone held a loaded gun to her head. The performance ended when Marina finally moved, and the public fled the gallery. She found the experience so traumatic that some of Marina’s hair turned white.

We were proud to sponsor a private viewing of Marina’s works at the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) on 11 October, hosted by The Cultivist, a global arts club. Lady Alison Myners, Chair of the RA, addressed guests describing the show as exploring “the body’s ability to endure pain”, among other themes.

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Lady Alison Myners, Chair of the Royal Academy of Arts (RA).

The exhibition includes a performance artist living in front of the audience. The artist is required to engage with the audience without speaking, but singing is permitted. The outcome was both mesmerising and haunting.

There is also a re-staging of Marina Abramović’s Imponderabilia (1977), where visitors are invited to pass between two nude models in a narrow doorway. Visitors must choose whether to face the man or the woman as they squeeze past. The experience is intended to make visitors confront issues around nakedness, gender, sexuality and desire.

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DJ Nick Hatfield played in the galleries of the RA.

While this was not the first solo female show at the RA, Marina is the first woman to exhibit in all galleries, Lady Alison explained. The viewing included canapes and drinks and was followed by a DJ set from Nick Hatfield in the galleries.

The exhibit is on show until 1 January 2024. If you are interested in attending future art events, please speak to your usual Cazenove Capital contact. You can also read our recent interview with the CEO and Founder of The Cultivist, Marlies Verhoeven, in our article on buying art.

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