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Your guide to Marina Abramović autumn 

It’s gearing up to be a nourishing fall for us London art-heads, and one woman is taking centre stage across the city: Serbian conceptual artist Marina Abramović. In a season of events for every taste [almost], you’ll be seeing her name everywhere you go.

Here’s what’s to expect.

The RA: Marina Abramović

Main Galleries, Burlington House
23 September – 1 January

This major retrospective combines documentation of performances past as well as reenactments of some of Abramovic’s live pieces by contemporary performance artists, including Nude With Skeleton and Imponderabilia.

In her 50 year career, the Serbian artist has created art which has pushed her body and sanity to the limit, and viewing her art requires a certain amount of stamina too. In particular, Rhythm 0, first performed in Naples in 1974 and documented in the first room at the RA, saw Abramović subjected to hours of physical abuse from an audience who were invited to use any of a number of props [including lipstick, a flower, a comb, then sharp knives, chains, an axe] on her body as they saw fit. It’s gruelling to be confronted with these instruments, as well as footage of the artist, in pain, tears rolling down her cheeks, but the visceral emotional response it is bound to provoke is testament to the power of her art.

This landmark solo exhibition is the first of its kind by a female artist in the principal galleries of the Royal Academy – in all of its 255 years. And if you needed more of a reason to go, ticket-holders must squeeze between two nude models to enter.

More information and tickets here.

Your guide to Marina Abramović autumn | Darklight Digital
Rhythm 0, Marina Ambramović [1974]

Southbank Centre: Marina Ambramović’s Institute Takeover

Queen Elizabeth Hall
4 – 8 October

In a self-led, audience participatory series of performances, artists will engage with the entirety of the Queen Elizabeth Hall [including dressing rooms, green rooms and foyer as well as stage].

Expect multi-disciplinary, site-specific works that challenge the audience to engage critically with difficult themes: oppression, violence, trauma, mortality.

Artists featured are Collective Absentia, Carla Adra, Cassils, Paula Garcia, Miles Greenberg, Sandra Johnston, Carlos Martiel, Yiannis Pappas, Paul Setúbal, Aleksandar Timotic and Despina Zacharopoulou. Marina Ambramović herself will appear at various times over the course of the five days.

More information and tickets here.

Your guide to Marina Abramović autumn | Darklight Digital
Breathing In, Breathing Out, Marina Abramović & Ulay [1977]. Courtesy of ULAY Foundation and Marina Abramovic Archives/[ARS]

English National Opera: The 7 Deaths of Maria Callas

London Coliseum
3 – 11 November

This is the UK premiere of Abramović’s celebrated opera project, which has already travelled across Europe under the watchful eye of Israeli-American conductor Yoel Gamzou.

Telling the story of Maria Callas, the Greek soprano who was one of the most influential singers of the last century, the show features seven films of Ambramović and co-star Willem Dafoe, costumes by Riccardo Tisci for Burberry, and arias by Bizet, Puccini, Verdi and more.

Truly, all the ingredients for a thoroughly elegant night out.

More information and tickets here.



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