Marina at Midnight

Curator's Introduction

In her most ambitious artwork ever, 512 Hours – lasting for 64 days from June 11 during the summer of 2014 – Marina is adding an extra digital dimension, Marina at Midnight, commissioned by The Space and The Serpentine with a series of daily diaries, which will share her experience.

Artistic Summary

In a work created for the Serpentine, the internationally acclaimed artist Marina Abramović performed in the Gallery for the duration of her exhibition: 10am to 6pm, 6 days a week, between 11 June and 25 August 2014.

Creating the simplest of environments in the Gallery spaces, Abramović’s only materials were herself, the audience and a selection of common objects that she used in a constantly changing sequence of events. On arrival, visitors had to 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 became the performing body, participating in the delivery of an unprecedented moment in the history of performance art.

At the end of each day, Abramović recorded an account of her day every evening throughout the duration of her performance. The Daily Diaries trace the fluctuations and developments of her performance piece, which begins with an empty space and unlimited possibilities.

Marina Abramović 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. This was 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.

The exhibition draws upon the history of Abramović’s use of her body as the basic material of her artwork. During her residency at the Serpentine, the artist, for the first time, committed to an unscripted and improvised presence in the space of the Gallery.

In the early 1970s, as a young artist in Belgrade, Abramović began exploring the relationship between artist and audience. Since 1978 she has conducted a series of workshops with art students, using a series of simple exercises to increase physical and mental awareness. Over the course of her career, Abramović has continued to develop these workshops, expanding their scope to reach a general public, through the Marina Abramović Institute.

Marina at Midnight was released nightly, and all 64 video diaries continue to be shown on The Space for a year after the exhibition closed.


Marina Abramović, Artist



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