Conceived in a close collaboration with the artist, the exhibition “The Cleaner” is the first major European retrospective of Marina Abramović. It chronologically reviews all the phases of the artist’s fifty-year career, from the works of the early 1960s to those of the present day.
It contains over 120 artworks, including paintings, drawings, objects, photographs, sound works, video, films, scenography and archival materials. Among the works exhibited are the anthological works of performance art (Rhythms, 1973–1974; Lips of Thomas, 1975; Relational works, 1976–1977; Nightsea Crossing, 1982–1986), as well as representative works from Abramović’s recent body of work (Balkan Baroque, 1997; The House with the Ocean View, 2002; Artist Is Present, 2010).
Marina Abramović (Belgrade, 1946) is one of the greatest performance artists and a remarkable figure in the contemporary art world. She is the only representative of the 1970s generation of radical performers who is still active in the field of performance art. Throughout her career she pushed her physical and mental boundaries exploring the themes of emotional and spiritual transfiguration, creating some of the most mesmerizing performance acts to date. Working across an extremely broad spectrum of media in order to achieve her creative goals, Marina Abramović has constantly challenged the boundaries of performance and the outermost limits of this art. Her performances are complex structures of meaning based on the intertwining of the concrete and the symbolic, the material and the spiritual, the physical and the mental, the intimate and the public, repetition and change, the actual and the virtual.
For Marina Abramović, performance art is the art of transformation that develops through the exchange of energy between the performer and the audience. It is the art of “cleaning” that possesses the capacity to fundamentally change how one experiences the self, others and the collective, as well as how one relates to life itself. The artist’s oeuvre attests to a constant search for methods and techniques that release the energy of humans, objects and actions.
For its entire run, the exhibition presents a series of live reperformances of Marina Abramović’s historical works (solo and with Ulay) performed by local and international performers:
> Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful, 1975
> Freeing the Voice, 1975
> Freeing the Memory, 1975
> Freeing the Body, 1975
> Breathing In/Breathing Out, 1977
> Imponderabilia, 1977.
> Light/Dark, 1977
> Relation in Time, 1977
> Work Relation, 1978
> AAA-AAA, 1978.
> Artist’s Life Manifesto, 1997
Film screenings on Thursdays in “Miodrag B. Protić” hall at 6pm. Entrance ticket is valid for this.
Conversations with the Cleaner
2019, 45 mins (dir. Boris Miljković)
October 3, 10, 17, 24, 2019
In a single day, almost in a single breath, a conversation with Marina Abramović is filmed. Commencing at the Student Cultural Center, continuing in a car circling the city of Belgrade and visiting places from her memories, it concludes at the Museum of Contemporary Art where her retrospective The Cleaner is to be shown.
1975, 30 mins (dir. Lutz Becker)
October 31, November 7, 14, 21, 2019
A film by the German director Lutz Becker showing the key protagonists of the art scene connected to the Student Cultural Center in Belgrade. The film presents a series of individual statements and performances about art and society, including Marina Abramović who performs her piece Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful.
Bob Wilson’s The Life and Death of Marina Abramović
2012, 57 mins (dir. Giada Colagrande)
November 28, December 5, 12, 19, 2019
A documentary about the creation of an experimental opera based on Marina Abramović’s biography. The artist invited eminent personalities from the world of art to participate in this project — Bob Wilson (theatre director), Willem Dafoe (actor) and Antony Hegarty (musician). Film material from the rehearsals and interviews with the artists reveal the background to this extraordinary project.
Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present
2012, 106 mins (dir. Matthew Akers)
December 26, 2019, January 9, 16, 2020
A documentary film showing Abramović’s life and work through the prism of one of the most spectacular art performances she carried out in the retrospective of her work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2010. For three months, for 736 hours in total, she sat motionless on a chair in the gallery hall, gazing straight ahead into the eyes of 1,675 visitors who during this time seated themselves across the table from her.
The exhibition is produced by Moderna Museet, Stockholm, in collaboration with Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk and Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn
Curated by Lena Essling (Moderna Museet), with Tine Colstrup (Louisiana Museum of Modern Art) and Susanne Kleine (Bundeskunsthalle).
The exhibition is locally organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade
Curator: Dejan Sretenović
Advisor for the Belgrade period: Ješa Denegri
Assistant curator: Senka Ristivojević
Exhibition design: Marina Dokmanović & Jeroen de Vries
Graphic design: Andrej Dolinka
Project manager: Violeta Slepčević
Project production advisor: Milica Perović
Exhibition producer: Nataša Lazić
Reperformances coordinator: Nataša Novaković
Stage manager: Ana Samardžić
Event organizer: Tamara Todorović
PR and marketing manager: Slavica Pešić
Assistant PR manager: Naomi Kojen
Technical realization: Dragan Stošić, Nikola Cvetković, Zoran Jakovljević, Dejan Klajić, Saša Sarić, and Vlada Vidaković [MoCAB], Mirko Đorđević, Marko Gavrilović, Lazar Popović, Proto d.o.o, AVL Projekt Int. d.o.o.
Reperformers: Alireza Ostovar, Tiina Lehtimaki, Lucie Kother, Anna Luna Holmberg, Johannes Reisinger, Daniele Tessaro, Maria Novella Tattanelli, Leonardo Sinopoli, Sharon Estacio, Mariana Yaremchyshyna, Mads Bittman, Darius Bogdanowicz, Nejma Larichi, Uwe Brauns, Gianluca Trusso Forgia, Katarina Bućić, Katarina Orlandić, Tijana Koprivica, Nikola Korać, Nikola Pavlović, Ivana Ranisavljević, Anisja Gavrilović, Ana Obradović, Andreja Kargačin, Vanja Halupa, Nina Pantović, Tanja Đurić Josić, Aleks Zain.
The Museum of Contemporary Art would like to thank the following individuals and institutions for their generous support: Giuliano Argenziano, Sidney Fishman, Catherine Koutsavlis, Matthew Moorman, Alison Brainhard and Billy Zhao (Abramović LLC, New York), Ivana Abramović, Lynsey Peisinger; Lena Essling and Desirée Bloomberg (Moderna Museet, Stockholm), Vaclav Kuczma and Paulina Kuhn (Centre of Contemporary Art, Torun), Snežana Arnautović and Aleksandar Ilić (Institute for Art Dance, Belgrade), Jovica Maćoš, Davor Ugrešić, Dragan Zdravić, Predrag Arsić.