In 2010, pioneering performance artist and art world megastar Marina Abramović staged a piece called ‘The Artist Is Present’. Visitors got to sit opposite a still and silent Marina for a limited time and stare her out. It was a hit. People queued around the block just to be in Marina’s presence. James Franco got in on the act, so did Lou Reed and Björk. Everyone wanted to be around Marina.
Now, the Serpentine Gallery – where she did a residency back in 2014 – is giving the rest of us everyday plebs the chance to hang out with her. Kinda. ‘The Life’ is a new ‘mixed reality’ work by Abramović, where visitors can spend 19 minutes in the presence of a digital avatar of the artist. What the hell is mixed reality? Who knows, but it sounds to us like a mixture between virtual reality – you know, with headsets and stuff – and reality reality. You know, with like, real stuff. The work is intended to question ‘material presence’, apparently, but is basically an amazing chance to experience a brand new work by one of the world’s leading artists, all by yourself. It’s not quite hanging out with Marina, but it’s as close as most of us will get.
It’s sold out though. Sorry about that. Oh... except for these 70 free tickets we have right here. You’re welcome. Be quick.