Lady Gaga is not one for understatements, nor doing her yoga in more than her underwear. The little monster matriarch has gone one step further this time, stripping down to her tattoos in the name of art and something called the Abramovic Method, a technique influenced by White Tantric Yoga created by renowned performance artist and psyche button pusher Marina Abramovic.
You may remember Abramovic from her moving 2010 tantra yoga/staring contest piece, “The Artist is Present,” where she spent seven hours a day without eating or drinking sitting in the Museum of Modern Art gazing into strangers’ eyes, six days a week for three months (see video below). Or maybe you recognize her from her recent cameo in Jay-Z’s “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film.”
Through her forty year career, Abramovic has made some splashes in the performance art world, her work focusing largely on bringing awareness to the present moment, often with naked subjects, fasting and extensive time periods all with the intention of, as described on her website, exploring “the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind.”
So then it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that a pal and supporter, Ms. Gaga, the walking example of shocking artistic expression would offer her help to promote and raise money for Abramovic’s latest project, the Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI), a to-be center in upstate NY which will be dedicated to practicing the Abramovic Method, a technique which “prepares participants to both perform and observe long durational work.”
More about the method:
The method is comprised of a series of exercises designed to heighten the participant’s awareness of their physical and mental experience. These exercises derive from the belief that everyone (regardless of age, nationality, gender, race, sexuality, social class, physical ability, or native language) can benefit from being more aware in the present moment.
To help demonstrate this, Lady Gaga offered up her time last week for a three-day retreat “in the country” as we city folk say, where Marina instructed her in a series of Abramovic Method exercises.
Lady Gaga chanted, walked in nature, took her clothes off, hugged some crystals and got in touch with her inner double-horned unicorn. This is what it looked like:
If all this looks and sounds up your alley go on ahead and donate to the kickstarter campaign where Marina Abramovic is trying to raise funds to open the Marina Abramovic Institute so that you too can experience the energy and presence of cold quartz on your bare tuckus.
More about the institute:
Marina Abramovic Institute is dedicated to the presentation and preservation of long durational work, including that of performance art, dance, theater, film, music, opera, and other forms that may develop in the future. MAI will foster collaboration between art, science, technology, and spirituality, bringing these fields into conversation with long durational work. MAI will provide an educational space to host workshops, lectures, residencies, and research.
Read more about it on the Marina Abramovic Institute website.
Here’s the clip from “The Artist Is Present” (2010) an HBO documentary on Marina’s MoMA exhibit. As the story goes, Marina is surprised by her former lover and partner Ulay who shows up in the seat across from her. The two had shared an intense and romantic relationship back in the 70s. When they felt their time together was coming to an end the two decided to do what any normal couple would, they walked the Great Wall of China both starting at either end. They met in the middle for one a last embrace before parting and never seeing each other again. Until…
And here’s Marina speaking on the piece:
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