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Thursday, June 20, 2024

RETROSPECTIVE OF MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ – Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam | 16.03.-14.07.2024

Editors’ Choice

A solo exhibition that showcases the entire body of work of Marina Abramović (Belgrade, 1946) is currently on display at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Over 60 key works spanning five decades trace the development of the prolific oeuvre of the pioneer of performance art: from her early work, created in the former Yugoslavia and in Amsterdam, to the pioneering performances with her partner Ulay and works from her solo practice, which is still active today.

Image above: Marina Abramović, Four Crosses: The Evil (positive), 2019 (detail). Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives. © Marina Abramović

The survey features archive footage of legendary performances, photos, videos, sculptures, and live reperformances of four iconic performances that will be staged in the Netherlands for the first time: Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful (1975), Imponderabilia (work with Ulay) (1977), Luminosity (1997) and The House with the Ocean View (2002). Visitors are invited to take part in two performances: Work Relation (work with Ulay) (1978) and Counting the Rice from the Abramović Method. The exhibition is organized in close collaboration with the artist and the Royal Academy in London.

DEEDS.NEWS - Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam - Marina Abramovic - Photo Peter Tijhuis
Installation view, Marina Abramović, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 2024. Photo: Peter Tijhuis

“There are so many different forms of art, performance is one of the most difficult, the most immaterial, and the most real.” — Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović has been a prominent figure in performance and body art since the 1970s and is considered one of the most important founders of this art form. She thrust performance art from its experimental beginnings into the mainstream. Using her body as her medium, Abramović consistently tests her mental and physical endurance, to the point of pain and even the possibility of death. Together with artist Ulay (Frank Uwe Laysiepen, 1943 – 2020) who she met in Amsterdam in 1975, she caused an international sensation – until they parted ways in 1988 – with long-durational performances that pushed these boundaries to the limit. In her later solo work, she focuses on spirituality and creating an exchange of energy between herself and the audience.

Ulay / Marina Abramović, Imponderabilia, 1977. Galleria Communale d’Arte Moderna, Bologna. Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives. © Ulay / Marina Abramović
Live reperformance Imponderabilia, 1977/2024, Ulay, Marina Abramović, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 2024. Photo: Fabian Landewee

In investigating the limits of consciousness, Abramović concentrates increasingly on the mental realm. She sees acts and situations sustained over long durations as stepping stones on the path towards transformation – a state in which mental and physical pain has been transcended, as in meditation. This process is exemplified in Luminosity (1997) in which a simple movement becomes gradually more physically challenging, forcing the performer to concentrate and be present. The House with the Ocean View (2002) – which involves a performer living by their own rules, such as fasting and silence, for twelve days – is the ultimate performance, pushing powers of human endurance to the limit. The piece takes place in three interconnected, sparsely-furnished rooms representing a bathroom, sleeping area, and sitting room. Viewers are invited to witness this symbolic house and share a wordless ‘energetic dialog’ with the performer.

DEEDS.NEWS - Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam - Marina Abramovic - The House with the Ocean View - Photo Attilio Maranzano
Marina Abramović, The House with the Ocean View, 2002. Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives © Marina Abramović. Photo: Attilio Maranzano

The performances will be reperformed at different times, sometimes for hours or days at a time, by performers trained in the Abramović Method. Performances will be staged daily. Please note that the live performances can be both intimate and confrontational.


Saturday, 16. March until Sunday, 14. July 2024

Opening hours: Daily, 10 am until 6 pm

Performances will be staged daily from 10:30 am to 5 pm.


Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Museumplein 10
1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands


Regular: 22,50 EUR
Reduced: 10 EUR
Under 19 years of age: free

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