Marina Abramović’s “Generator”
By May Zhee Lim, Markets Media Life Correspondent
Marina Abramović has a new installation at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York – her first performance piece in the city since “The Artist Is Present.” In “Generator,” visitors put on blindfolds and noise-canceling headphones before entering the empty gallery, where they then feel their way around until they are ready to leave. (They are also required to leave their belongings, including bags and cell phones, in a locker.)
The exhibition deprives the audience of their sight and hearing, two key senses when it comes to performance art, but makes up for it by providing a different kind of experience based around the concept of “nothingness.” Abramović hopes to create a quiet and uninterrupted environment for participants to meditate, connect with other people in the room, and push their own boundaries of self-awareness. After the exhibition, visitors are invited to record their thoughts and reactions, which will be posted on social media.
Abramović is an artist known for pushing the boundaries of her body and mind in her quest for spiritual and emotional transformation. She performed her intensely experiential piece “The Artist Is Present” four years ago at MoMA, where she shared periods of silence with strangers sitting across from her. “Generator” is meant to be a departure from that as Abramović removes herself entirely from the art space and shifts the focus to the audience’s experience instead. It does, however, stay true to Abramović’s intention of creating art without the use of props or objects that could get between the performer and her audience.
The installation opened last Thursday and will run until December 6. Entrance to the gallery is free, but be prepared to wait in line, as the installation has already drawn a large crowd eager to experience Abramović’s “Generator.”
Photo via Wikimedia Commons under creative commons