Can the Marina Abramović method change your life?

Lady Gaga and Jay-Z are among those who have followed the Abramović Method to achieve higher creative consciousness. Today, the artist’s iconic approach translates into a series of instruction sheets for everyone. If you don’t try, you’ll never know

The path to creative transcendence has never been clear, but no one has come closer to forging it than Marina Abramović. The Serbian artist and titan of performance art has spent the last half century stretching the human body to breaking point, offering himself as an object of experimentation for the public and eroding the seal between body and soul.

Through breathtaking performances, she subjected her body and mind to harrowing symbolic rituals, reconfiguring the thresholds of pain, endurance and suffering.

Among these, The house with the ocean view (2002) at the Sean Kelly Gallery, for which Abramović lived, fully exhibited, on three raised platforms for 12 days with no food and only water. And let’s not forget The artist is present (2010), in which she stood motionless for eight hours a day for three months, in silent eye contact with hundreds of strangers and a few friends, one by one. More recently, the artist dominated London with a multifaceted tribute to soprano Maria Callas.

His interest in participation is cemented in the so-called Abramović Method, an approach designed by the artist to engage the public with participatory exercises to evoke “inner strength, focus and endurance” to face the challenges of life. life. The method combines radical contemporary art with self-help, making the otherworldly connotations of transcendence shocking. Last year, as part of a year-long collaboration with file-sharing platform WeTransfer, the artist unveiled a digital manifestation of the Abramović Method available 24/7 to the global community of the platform, 80 million strong.

Now this famous method is made available as a set of physical instruction cards published by Laurence King. Created by Abramović and art and fiction writer Katya Tylevich, the 30-card deck makes ambitious and alluring promises to “purge your mind of all unnecessary distractions and anxieties” and “unleash your creativity”.

So what’s on the cards? To start, you can try “complain to a tree”, in which you “choose a tree you like”. Put your arms around the tree. Complain to the tree’, for 15 minutes. If cuddling trees isn’t your thing, maybe you could try “holding a mutual gaze” with a willing partner? Or “release static electricity through a strand of hair?” (there is a first time for everything).

In 2023, Marina Abramovic will present a solo exhibition at the Royal Academy in London and become the first female artist in the institution’s 250-year history to occupy the entire gallery space with her work. §

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