Marina Abramović is preparing to appear in augmented reality, for a new artwork that will be premiered at London’s Serpentine Galleries this month. Her performance piece The Life (2019), which mixes physical and virtual space over the course of 19 minutes, is being billed as a world first by the artist. Abramović commented: ‘This is the first time an artist has used this technology to create a performance but this experiment is just the beginning. I hope that many other artists will follow me and continue to pioneer Mixed Reality as an art form’.
The creation of The Life involved the artist undergoing volumetric capture: a photographic tracking of her in-real-life performance. From 19 to 24 February, visitors to the gallery will be given spatial computing devices to wear on arrival: ‘A roped five-metre circle will be at the centre of the gallery where the digital representation of Abramović will be visible through the Magic Leap One device. Visitors will be free to explore the movements of the artist as if she were actually in the room,’ the gallery says. Abramović described the experience of wearing the glasses for the first time as ‘a very shocking experience – the feeling that I was there and not there at the same time.’
Last year, Abramović revealed details of new artworks she is preparing for her solo exhibition at London’s Royal Academy of Arts in 2020. Plans included an artwork which will electrify the 72-year-old artist with one million volts – powerful enough to snuff out a candle by pointing a finger at it, as well as a glass fountain of herself spouting blood. The RA show will mark the first time a woman has been given a retrospective in the gallery’s 250-year-history.