Breaking the Fourth Wall: From Witnessing to Participation
25 July, 2020 - 25 July, 2020
The ‘godmother of performance art’, Marina Abramović burst onto the ’70s art scene with cathartic performances that pushed the envelope on spectator participation and personal safety in unexpected and unprecedented ways.
As part of its Art as Witness theme, MAP is pleased to present her, in conversation with India’s most well-known performance artist, Nikhil Chopra. Together they will examine the ways in which, over the course of a five-decade-long career, Abramović has used her own body as subject, object, and medium; her relationship to the public; and the nature of witnessing in long durational and immaterial art.
Since the beginning of her career in Belgrade during the early 1970s, Marina Abramović has pioneered performance art, creating some of the form’s most important early works. Exploring her physical and mental limits, she has withstood pain, exhaustion, and danger in her quest for emotional and spiritual transformation.
Abramović was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale. In 2010, she had her first major U.S. retrospective and simultaneously performed for over 700 hours in The Artist is Present at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She also founded Marina Abramović Institute (MAI), a platform for immaterial and long durational work to create new possibilities for collaboration among thinkers of all fields.
Her most recent publication is Walk Through Walls: A Memoir (Crown Archetype, 2016). Her retrospective The Cleaner opened at Moderna Museet, Stockholm in 2017 and has toured seven additional European venues, ending at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, Serbia in 2019. In September 2020 the Bayerische Staats Oper will present the world premiere of 7 Deaths of Maria Callas, which will tour to other venues. In 2021, she will also present the solo exhibition After Life at the Royal Academy, becoming the first female artist in the institution’s 250-year history to occupy the entire gallery space with her work.
Nikhil Chopra’s artistic practice ranges between live art, theatre, painting, photography, sculpture and installations. His performances, in large part improvised, dwell on issues such as identity, the role of autobiography, the pose and self-portraiture, reflecting on the process of transformation and the part played by the duration of the performance.
Chopra has exhibited and performed globally since 2005. Participation in important solo and group exhibitions include Fire Water, 2nd Yinchuan Biennale, China (2018); Drawing a Line Through Landscape, documenta14, Athens, Greece & Kassel, Germany (2017); Blackening VI, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, UK (2017); Bhairav, New Art Exchange, Nottingham, UK (2017); The Black Pearl: the city from the river, Alchemy, Southbank Centre, London, UK (2016); La Perla Negra, La Bienal de Habana, Havana, Cuba (2016); Use Like Water, Sharjah Biennial 12 (2015); Give Me Your Blood and I Will Give You Freedom, Singapore International Festival for the Arts (2014); Inside Out, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italy (2012); Yog Raj Chitrakar: Memory Drawing X, Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai and the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai (2010). The artist has also performed at Performa, New York (2008); the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); and the Yokohama Triennale (2008).