Marina Abramovic Kickstarts Her New Institute With Crowd Funding

Marina Abramovic, the New York-based, Serbian-born performance artist is using Kickstart to crowd fund her new institute designed by Rem Koolhaas. The Institute is dedicated to the presentation and preservation of long durational work, including that of performance art, dance, theater, film, music, opera, and other forms that may develop in the future. MAI will foster collaboration between art, science, technology, and spirituality, bringing these fields into conversation with long durational work. MAI will provide an educational space to host workshops, lectures, residencies, and research. MAI aims to create a global community of collaborators and wants you to be part of it. She has already raised over $108,500 from 650 supporters. She is seeking $600,000 from crowd funding.

In total, $20 million is needed to complete renovations of the institute and begin operations. Marina has paid for phase zero of this development process. She purchased the building at 620 Columbia Street in Hudson, New York for $950,000 and donated it to the institute. She funded the budget of the MAI office for six months and commissioned the architectural concept. As of now, Marina has paid $1.5 million out of pocket towards the early stages of MAI. Ms Abramovic realises no matter how successful or passionate she is , a single-handedly fund will not be able to sustain a cultural institution of this size. She hopes that an equally passionate public will join her in contributing to phase one.

The ask total of this Kickstarter covers the first phase of MAI’s development: the design process. Given that MAI is the first of its kind, its early design phase demands an innovative approach. Pledges will contribute to early MAI programming, office operations, and schematic designs of architectural elements, including building structure, lighting, acoustics, and AV. Leading this process are world-renowned architects Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), whose unique vision will help MAI to create new ways for audiences and performers to interact.

Marina began her career in the early 1970s. Her four decades of work explore the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. Her most recent performance, “The Artist Is Present” (2010), Marina sat motionless in MoMA’s atrium for three months, offering her gaze to anyone willing to sit across from her. Over the course of this performance, she stared into the eyes of more than 1,500 visitors. Thousands more waited for an opportunity to participate. It was during this 736-hour performance that Marina became aware of the public’s immense desire to slow down and connect to themselves and to one another in a live setting. Long durational works like “The Artist Is Present” facilitate this type of connection, but currently there is no space solely dedicated to them. MAI will be this space.

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