Marina Abramović – The Cleaner – Palazzo Strozzi, Florence & Opera Duomo Museum – From 21 September 2018 to 20 January 2019.

From 21 September 2018 to 20 January 2019 Palazzo Strozzi hosts a major exhibition featuring Marina Abramović, one of the most famous and controversial figures in contemporary art, whose works have revolutionized the idea of performance, testing her body and expressive potential to the limit.

The event is a unique retrospective bringing together more than a hundred works, providing a comprehensive survey of her most famous creations, from a career ranging from the 1970s to the 2000s, including videos, photographs, paintings, objects, installations, and live recreations of her most famous performances by a group of performers specially chosen and trained for this show.

The exhibition is the result of a direct collaboration with the artist, continuing the series of shows at Palazzo Strozzi featuring leading figures in contemporary art, following those dedicated to Ai Weiwei and Bill Viola. Palazzo Strozzi will again provide an integrated exhibition space, giving Marina Abramović her first opportunity to interact with Renaissance architecture, highlighting the close relationship she has always had, and still has, with Italy.

On Saturday 22 September at 15.30, the artist will feature in a special event, already SOLD OUT, organized by the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. In conversation with Arturo Galansino, curator of the show and general manager of the Strozzi Palace Foundation, the artist will discuss aspects of her personal and creative life, surveying the various stages in her career from her beginnings in Serbia to her latest major performances throughout the world.

The exhibition is organized by the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, produced together with Moderna Museet, Stockholm, in collaboration with the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, and the Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn.

Curated by Arturo Galansino, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, and Lena Essling, Moderna Museet, together with Tine Colstrup of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, and Susanne Kleine of the Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn.

Opera Duomo Museum and Marina Abramović
On the occasion of the great exhibition Marina Abramović. The Cleaner, two of Marina Abramović’s works – Pietà (Anima Mundi), 1983 and The Kitchen V, Carrying the Milk, 2009 – interact with the masterpieces in the Opera Duomo Museum.

The Kitchen pays tribute to Saint Therese of Avila, a Spanish mystic who experienced levitation of the body in the kitchen and communed with the Godhead; in the video on show in the museum, Marina Abramović observes a bowl of milk with almost religious concentration. Pietà (Anima Mundi), produced in conjunction with Ulay, is a tableau vivant.

Inspired by the Versperbild iconography portraying the two artists’ bodies as though they were the figures in a Pietà in which Marina is associated with the Virgin, holding in her lap the body of Ulay who may be likened to Christ after His deposition from the Cross. The work interacts with Michelangelo’s Pietà Bandini (1547–55), a masterpiece carved in the great sculptor’s later years that bears witness to his faith. He designed it for the altar at whose foot he expected to be buried.

Photos Irene Fanizza

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