• Art of Inspiration

    • To fund her new project, the artist is asking the audience that loves her for financial support.

    Marina Abramovic’s new project: a human utopia or opportunistic wit? / 

    The new performance by Marina Abramovic, the “witch of performance art”, has sparked an ethical controversy: she launched a project to build a monumental art centre on a crowdsourcing website. Marina, as is well known, is one of the creators that has reached an astonishing level of success in the last few years, and is thus, and artist that is fairly well-off. Perhaps if she is unable to raise the initial 600 thousand dollars required to complete the first part of the project, her initiative will remain as just that: and inclusive performance.

    The Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI) in Hudson, New York, is visualised by the artist as an incubator and enclosure for the teaching of the “Abramovic Method”, which combines aspects of her art, science, technology and spirituality —teachings that will be imparted within a white and serene museum.

    The museum was designed by OMA, and as Abramovic explains in the video, it will have a library, classrooms, and performance spaces. Thus, the MAI will transform its visitors into “active participants” of art. The museum is undoubtedly promising; by merely watching the promotional campaign we feel curious and in some way a desire to participate in the activities that happen within these white walls, and to become “nurtured” by the rituals of art. However, what remains surprising is that the creative mind behind MAI believes it is appropriate, interesting or strategic, to launch her fundraising efforts through crowdsourcing platform, when the budget for the finished project is actually 20 million dollars. Additionally, Abramovic is not an artist who lacks financial resources (which is the whole point of crowdsourcing platforms), and the funds could easily by supplied by the government or by private donations from large institutions.

    Perhaps when Abramovic says we will be “active participants” in the project, this includes making the project possible. One of the serious problems caused by raising the money from the audience is that public institutions will undoubtedly follow her example and platforms like Kickstarter will serve a completely different purpose from that which they were originally meant to serve in the first place: helping people with good ideas and limited resources.

    The museum is a great idea and a type of spa for creative minds. However, the doubt remains: is it morally right to be funded by the public and not by the artist’s prolific resources?

    Tagged: contemporary art, performance, Marina Abramovic, inspiration