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Heiughtened Consciousness

Marina Abramović: An art made of trust, vulnerability and connection

Marina Abramović's art pushes the boundary between audience and artist in pursuit of heightened consciousness and personal change. In her groundbreaking 2010 work, "The Artist Is Present," she simply sat in a chair facing her audience, for eight hours a day ... with powerfully moving results. Her boldest work may still be yet to come — it's taking the form of a sprawling art institute devoted to experimentation and simple acts done with mindful attention. "Nothing happens if you always do things the same way," she says. "My method is to do things I'm afraid of, the things I don't know, to go to territory that nobody's ever been."

In her performances she’s been cut, burned, and nearly shot — but Marina Abramović's boldest work yet is a gargantuan institute dedicated to transformation through art.

Marina Abramović burst onto the '70s art scene with cathartic performances that tested the limits of spectator participation and personal safety. The Artist Is Present, a Museum of Modern Art performance in which thousands of viewers queued for hours to face Abramović across a table, moved many to tears, and launched Abramović into mainstream celebrity.

Her latest work-in-progress is the MAI (Marina Abramović Institute), a sprawling upstate New York complex devoted to the preservation of durational performance pieces, arts education and the pursuit of heightened consciousness through Abramović’s artistic practices.

“The body is her subject, time is her medium.” — The New Yorker, March 8, 2010

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