NEON is partnering with the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI) for the first time, on a major collaboration of Performance and Immaterial Art in Athens. Hosted at the Benaki Museum (Pireos St. Annexe) over a period of seven weeks, As One will consist of the Abramović Method, newly commissioned performance pieces by Greek artists, and an extensive public program of lectures, workshops, discussions and other public participatory events. The largest and most ambitious project dedicated to performance art in Greece to date, As One will place this contemporary art form in the spotlight in order to engage and inspire the Greek public.
With this collaboration, NEON and MAI aim to provide a platform and help foster a new generation of Greek performance artists. A number of emerging Greek artists have been selected by Abramović to train and perform, and have been commissioned to develop and present new works for the project. This collaboration springs from NEON’s mission to broaden the Greek public’s access to a wide variety of contemporary art forms. MAI serves as the legacy of its greatest exponent, Marina Abramović, and works to promote and present collaborative projects and young, aspiring artists.
The Abramović Method is a public participatory experience that utilizes exercises designed by Abramović to engage the public in individual and communal connection to the present moment. The Method draws upon a huge reservoir of the artist’s experiences, performances and practice over the last 40 years that is gradually being distilled into a series of exercises that explore boundaries of body and mind. The Method is founded upon individual and collective participation, and forms an experiential approach to immaterial art. The exercises from the Method draw on the artist’s desire to provide a simple way for the public to reconnect with themselves and with the present moment. This opportunity to free oneself from distraction, Abramović maintains, ‘has never been more relevant, than in Greece in these trying times.’
Since this process is being continually explored and reshaped by its creator, the specific form of the Method to be presented in Athens will be a unique evolution of comparable works presented by the artist across the world over the years.
In conjunction with this, a parallel artist-led program will include newly commissioned performances, workshops, talks and screenings, with the aim of offering a deeper insight into performance art, and engaging the artists and public in multidisciplinary discourse and community building. A highlight of the program will be two lectures on performance art given by Abramović. The Greek performance artists, selected by Marina Abramović and the curatorial team through an open call, will develop and perform new works in collaboration with MAI. In addition, the series of long durational performances will also include works by acclaimed international performance artists: Rafael Ebdala & Jessica Goes (members of Grupo Empreza) (Brazil), Maria Herranz (Switzerland), Amanda Coogan (Ireland) and Kira O’Reilly (UK).
NEON and the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI) present: As One Benaki Museum | Pireos St. Annexe, Athens 10 March – 24 April 2016