Marina Abramovic presents: architectural experience as critical, self-reflective practice.

Conference paper


Nigianni, Betty 2010. Marina Abramovic presents: architectural experience as critical, self-reflective practice. Architecture and Performance Graduate Student Symposium. Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, USA 2010
AuthorsNigianni, Betty
TypeConference paper
Abstract

Since the 1970’s performance artist Marina Abramovic has deployed the idea of experience as
a key element of her artistic practice. Focusing on selected projects this paper will examine in
particular spatial and architectural experience as addressed by Abramovic: from her early
experimental work, exploring notions of ‘empty space’ and performance-based, body-oriented
responses to architecture, to her 1990’s exhibitions of ‘transitory objects’, as well as her most
recent curations of live-events. The paper will discuss how, in these works, spatial and
architectural experience become vehicles for engaging audiences with the performance,
leading to their transformation. Drawing upon Walter Benjamin’s philosophical concept of
experience, as shaped by early Romantic ideas of self-reflection and self-transformation
understood through questions relating to the cognition of form, the article will subsequently
argue that Abramovic addresses spatial and architectural experience as critical, self-reflective
practice. In this context, further drawing upon Benjamin’s theory of immanent criticism,
which proposed that the unfolding of the essence of the artwork from within itself occurs at
the moment when it is experienced, I will argue that Abramovic’s work actively encourages
an anti-historicist attitude towards art and architecture. Such attitude pushes beyond any
notions of achieving ‘auratic’ ends, while it fosters, instead of passive spectatorship, the
public’s active engagement. For this reason, I will describe Abramovic’s practice as
developing a performative interrelationship between space, architecture, artistic performance
and audiences, encouraging multiple, constantly reconfigured responses to art and
architecture through active engagement with the processes of art production and reception.

Keywordsperformance art; architecture; artistic practice; Yves Klein; Marina Abramovic; Performing the Body
Year2010
ConferenceArchitecture and Performance Graduate Student Symposium
Publication dates
Print27 Feb 2010
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Oct 2010
Web address (URL)http://ycba.yale.edu
http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1003
Additional information

Citation:
Nigianni, B. (2010) ‘Marina Abramovic presents: architectural experience as critical, self-reflective practice’ Architecture and Performance Graduate Student Symposium. Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, United States. 27 February 2010..

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