We talk a lot about Slow Food, Slow Design and Slow Architecture. But what about Slow Life? Serbian artist Marina Ambramovic, hailed as one of the most important performance artists of our time, compels us to try it out at Marina Abramovic: In Residence, presented by Kaldor Public Art Projects, open to the public until 5 July.
Stripped of time – watches and mobile phones are placed into lockers before entering – visitors engage in various activities that encourage a kind of meditation. This is the next phase in Abramovic’s artistic development – as she moves from performer to conductor. The stations are a sample of the Ambramovic Method, a series of exercises designed by the artist over the course of 40 years to explore boundaries of body and mind.
Whether it’s following an exercise video, counting grains of rice or staring at a coloured square, the viewer becomes performer, both observer and observed simultaneously. We experience the effects of the exercises, form impressions and observe our thought patterns, as Facilitators – who have been trained by Abramovic on the art of presence – guide us through the stations.
Upstairs at Pier 2/3, there are 12 young artists sleeping in ‘cells’ for the duration of the 12-day exhibition. They are the handpicked Residency Artists who have been spending time with Abramovic to develop their practice, while also interacting with members of the public who are encouraged to visit.
The impact of the exercises are best felt. If you are not able to visit the exhibition, try this:
The globally renowned artist resides in Sydney for 12 days, encouraging us to take the time to take time out.