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Marina Abramovic to premiere new installation at Luminato Festival
In this rare collaborative opportunity, Abramovic empowers participants to create the experience of the performance themselves.

TORONTO.- Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity, June 14-23, 2013, announced today that the Festival’s 2013 Visual Arts programming will include a world premiere installation by Marina Abramovic, considered one of the most important artists of our time.

As part of their ongoing investigation into the work of French/Swiss artist Jean Tinguely, Amsterdam’s Metamatic Research Initiative has commissioned MarinaAbramovicInstitute – Prototype, a singularly remarkable installation by performance artist Marina Abramovic designed by Dutch architect Siebe Tettero. This new ground-breaking installation will consist of seven interconnected pavilions in Trinity Bellwoods Park, where the audience will participate in a series of exercises and experiences based on Abramovic’s performance practice.

In this rare collaborative opportunity, Abramovic empowers participants to create the experience of the performance themselves. Every 30 minutes four people will be able to join the performance. Participants will wear white lab coats and headphones to disconnect themselves from the outside world for a period of approximately two hours. Instructions will be given over the headphones in a selection of seven different languages. Live streaming of the public’s experiences of the exhibition will extend MarinaAbramovicInstitute – Prototype to other locations throughout Toronto. Each participant will receive a certificate signed by Abramovic as a memento of their involvement. After completing the performance, the participants are asked to document their experiences which will later be broadcast via social media.

Conceived as a satellite to her yet-to-be-built Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI) in Hudson, New York, MarinaAbramovicInstitute – Prototype will be the largest expression mounted to date of what the artist calls the Marina Abramovic Method. The mission of the Marina Abramovic Institute is to cultivate new kinds of performance while functioning as a living archive, preserving and hosting performances of historic pieces. Abramovic plans to use the space as a laboratory for exploring time-based and immaterial art. Under the design leadership of OMA-NY, lead architects Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas have created a unique experience for not only future visitors to the Institute, but also for artistic participants.

"Marina Abramovic is one of the great pioneers of Performance Art and through her work has elevated this art form into the official canon of the visual arts,” says Jorn Weisbrodt, Artistic Director of Luminato. “Even though she is such an auratic performer, she has also established the fact that a work of performance art does not have to die with the performer. In the MAI-Prototype, she even goes a step further and provides the audience with a two hour experience that draws from her immense body of work, and makes the audience the active part of the work of art. To be able to premiere an entirely new work by such a world renowned artist here in Toronto is a true honor, and joy to share with our audiences. There is nothing you need to know to understand this piece of work, you just have to experience it – everyone will have their individual experiences."

Hot on the heels of The Artist is Present, Abramovic’s acclaimed show at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York that broke attendance records by attracting more than 850,000 visitors, MarinaAbramovicInstitute – Prototype in Toronto will create a once in a lifetime experience for her audience.

The Artist is Present became a huge cultural event. People lined up all night for a chance to be part of the experience with Abramovic. Abramovic sat motionless and silent on a wooden chair for seven hours a day, for almost three months. The public lined up to sit opposite her in silence and stare back into her eyes. Testimonials of people experiencing religious-like transformations – breaking down in tears in the raw, pure, moment – spread through social media.

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