Matthew Barney, River of Fundament. Click image for video.

Abramovic in Free Performances
at Serpentine

Entry to Marina Abramovic: 512 Hours is free of charge and on a strictly first-come, first-served basis. There is no advance booking. Due to the limited capacity, visitors may be expected to queue.

In a unique work created for the Serpentine, the internationally acclaimed artist Marina Abramovic will perform in the Gallery for the duration of her exhibition:  10am to 6pm, 6 days a week. Creating the simplest of environments in the Gallery spaces, Abramovic’s only materials will be herself, the audience and a selection of common objects that she will use in a constantly changing sequence of events. On arrival, visitors will both literally and metaphorically leave their baggage behind in order to enter the exhibition: bags, jackets, electronic equipment, watches and cameras may not accompany them.

The public will become the performing body, participating in the delivery of an unprecedented moment in the history of performance art.

Marina Abramovic is a pioneer of performance as an art form, using her own body as subject and object, she has pushed the physical and mental limits of her being. This is the first major performance by Abramovic since her monumental piece The Artist is Present, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2010, in which visitors were invited to sit in silence opposite the artist and gaze into her eyes for an unspecified amount of time. Abramovic performed this work every day for three month

The exhibition draws upon the history of Abramovic’s use of her body as the basic material of her artwork. During her residency at the Serpentine, the artist will, for the first time, commit to an unscripted and improvised presence in the space of the Gallery.

In the early 1970s, as a young artist in Belgrade, Abramovic began exploring the relationship between artist and audience. Since 1978 she has conducted a series of workshops with art students, using a series of simple exercises to increase physical and mental awareness. Over the course of her career, Abramovic has continued to develop these workshops, expanding their scope to reach a general public, through the Marina Abramovic Institute.

The exhibition by Ed Atkins takes place concurrently at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, bringing together two extraordinary artists from different generations who focus on performance, the body and language.

Please note that the galleries will be closed on 1st and 2nd July.

Marina Abramovic was born in 1946 in Belgrade, Serbia. She moved to Amsterdam in 1976 and has lived in New York since 2001. Her pioneering works of performance art have made her the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide at institutions including Kunstmuseum and Grosse Halle, Bern, Switzerland and La Gallera, Valencia, Spain (1998); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2005) Museum of Modern Art, New York in (2010); the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture, Moscow (2011); Kunsthalle, Vienna (2012). Abramovic’s work was also included in Documenta VI, VII and IX (1977, 1982 and 1992); Venice Biennale 1976 and 1997, with the exhibition of Balkan Baroque in the latter earning her the Golden Lion Award for Best Artist.

Marina Abramovic >>

Marina Abramovic and Ulay. Imponderabilia. Originally performed in 1977 for 90 min. Galleria Comunale d’Arte Moderna, Bologna. Still from 16mm film transferred to video (black and white, sound). 52:16 min. © 2010 Marina Abramovic. Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery / (ARS), New York.

Christopher Williams (American, born 1956). Kodak Three Point Reflection Guide / © 1968, detail.

The Rich, Religious Culture of Byzantium
tHeaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium, explores the artistic and cultural majesty of the Byzantine Empire. The exhibition features 167 objects, including mosaics, icons, frescoes, sculptures, manuscripts, metalwork, jewelry, glass, embroideries, and ceramics, making it the largest and most important collection of Byzantine objects from Greece ever amassed and displayed in Los Angeles.

Art of Byzantium >>

Christopher Williams (American, born 1956). Kodak Three Point Reflection Guide / © 1968, detail.

Christopher Williams, Critiques of Capitalism
The Production Line of Happiness — the first retrospective ever mounted of Christopher Williams (American, b. 1956) — spans the impressive 35-year career of one of the most influential cinephilic artists working in photography. Williams studied at the California Institute of the Arts in the mid to late 1970s under the first wave of West Coast Conceptual artists.

Christopher Williams >>

Jean-Jacques Lebel, Ya bon, Banania, 1990, Assemblage, detail.

Jean Lebel, Insurrection as Political Statement
According to his friend Man Ray, Jean-Jacques Lebel triggered the association Lebel = Rebel in the 1960s. His actions, installations, sculptures, objects, paintings, videos and texts are in explicit rebellion against the terror of war and psychiatry, against the horror of colonialism, against a culture of self-inflicted stupidity and a society characterized by oppression and racism..

Jean-Jacques Lebel >>

Jillian Youngblood, from 6 Inches of Progress.

Considering the Wealth of Forgotten Nations
The American landscape is a constant reminder that its history grew from tribal roots. What has evolved since the 19th century is a largely self-conscious, redundant, self-destructive and self- consumptive cultural reflection of all the tribes that have ever walked this land and Jillian Youngbird’s work touches on that..

Six Inches of Progress >>

Rene Magritte, Making 'Everyday Objects Shriek
Out Loud'

Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938 explores the evolution of René Magritte’s work from 1926 to 1938, an innovative period when he developed key strategies and techniques to defamiliarize the familiar — to make, in his words, “everyday objects shriek out loud.” During this time the artist was closely aligned with the Surrealist movement, and his depictions of ordinary objects constituted a new direction in Surrealist art. Bringing together around 80 paintings, collages, and objects, along with a selection of photographs, periodicals, and early commercial work, the exhibition offers fresh insight into the beginnings of Magritte’s extraordinary career as a modern painter and Surrealist artist. In addition to works from MoMA’s collection, the exhibition includes many loans from public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938 at is organized by Anne Umland, The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Curator of Painting and Sculpture, with Danielle Johnson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture. The exhibition is organized by MoMA, The Menil Collection, and The Art Institute of Chicago, and travels to The Menil Collection from February 14 to June 1, 2014, and to The Art Institute of Chicago from June 22 to October 12, 2014.

The first-ever concentrated presentation of Magritte's early Surrealist works, Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938 begins with paintings and collages Magritte created in Brussels in 1926 and 1927, in anticipation of and immediately following his first one-person exhibition at the Galerie Le Centaure, which launched his career as Belgium’s leading Surrealist painter. It follows Magritte to Paris, where he lived from 1927 to 1930 in order to be closer to center of the Surrealist movement, and concludes in 1938, the year Magritte delivered “La Ligne de vie” (“Lifeline”), an important autobiographical lecture that provided an account of his career as a Surrealist.

Like all artists and poets associated with the Surrealist movement, Magritte sought to overthrow what he saw as the oppressive rationalism of bourgeois society. His art during these years is at times violent, frequently disturbing, and often filled with discontinuities. He consistently interrogated conventions of language and visual representation, using methods that included the misnaming of objects, doubling and repetition, mirroring and concealment, and the depiction of visions seen in half-waking states. All are devices that cast doubt on the nature of appearances — within Magritte’s paintings and within reality itself.

Painted for his exhibition at Le Centaure, The Menaced Assassin (1927) is one of Magritte’s largest and most theatrical compositions. The vacantly staring figures and everyday objects, all rendered in Magritte’s flat, deadpan style, underscore what the Belgian abstract artist Pierre Flouquet characterized as the painting’s “banal crime.” In another painting from this period, Magritte depicts his “accomplice,” the Belgian Surrealist poet and leader Paul Nougé. Here two seemingly identical, formally dressed men are partially separated by a fragmented "door.” Through the use of doubling, Magritte challenges the conventional idea that a portrait should represent a singular self or an individual.

These paintings are joined by a group of Magritte's early papiers collés, or collages. Such works include what would become signature motifs fir the artist: bowler hats, theater curtains, and mysterious landscapes. Among them, The Lost Jockey has a singular status; in September 1926, poet Camille Goemans, Magritte's friend and dealer, associated this figure of the mounted jockey "hurtling recklessly into the void" with the artist himself.

Rene Magritte >>

René Magritte (Belgium, 1898-1967). La durée poignardée (Time Transfixed). 1938. Oil on canvas. 147 x 99 cm. The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago. Joseph Winterbotham Collection. © Charly Herscovici -– ADAGP – ARS, 2013.