Maria Abramovic Will Recreate Banned Performance in London

Maria Abramovic has begun to refer to herself as the “grandmother of performance art”, and with a repertoire that spans over four decades, her status and innovation is unrivalled. Her work has always pushed boundaries, and her 1977 performance Imponderabilia was shut down after 90 minutes.

Image Credit: Art21

Image Credit: Art21

The piece was deemed obscene as it consisted of Abramovic and her then partner and collaborator Ulay standing naked on opposite sides of a door way in the Museum of the Galleria d'Arte Moderna Bologna. Abramovic named the gap between them the ‘birth canal’ and visitors were required to pass through in order to visit the museum.

Abramovic has originally intended the performance to last 3 hours and saw the interaction with the visitors as a form of audience participation, key to her practice and the piece as a whole.

Next year the Royal Academy is holding a celebratory retrospective of the innovative artist, titled ‘Marina Abramović: 50 years of pioneering performance art’ which will feature a recreation of this infamous performance. Although models will replace Abramovic the performance will remain conceptually the same and this time undisturbed.

Visitors will be able to partake in the performance or use a separate enterance and remain an observer.

The exhibition opens in September 2020.

TEXT BY ISOBEL GORMAN-BUCKLEY