Marina Abramovic can sit motionless for hours, days, and weeks on end, and now you can too! The Abramovic Method, being taught now at Milan's Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea (PAC) and in the future at the upcoming Marina Abramovic Institute, is a two-and-a-half hour course in endurance-based performance art for the masses; though not for the faint of heart. "Where is our breathing? What is the situation of our bodies? What state of mind does it take?" are some of the many lessons to be learned, Abramovic shared Monday, during a press preview of her forthcoming Institute.
The first step — after surrendering all distractions, including your watch and phone; donning an official Abramovic Method Labcoat and set of noise-blocking headphones; and closing your eyes — involves climbing into the Chair for Human Use. The simple seat of wooden planks is outfitted with crystal quartz from Brazil to facilitate a cleansing process. The stones are fixed above the sitter's head and underneath each of the chair's legs so that the pupil is not touching the ground.
"Crystal is the most simplified computer of the planet," Abramovic said. "If you put in any impulse — that's how you get digital watches — the impulse never leaves the crystal... they have an incredible energy that's been used for healing for so long. They're like regenerators." The cleansing process can also take place on a wooden bed, or underneath a copper framework outfitted with magnets.
To supplement the experience, students will sit next to the Chair for Spirit Use, where an unnamed specter will seat itself. Don't see it? Well, "it’s your problem," according to Abramovic. "It is there."
The Abramovic Method is at Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea through June 10. To see more of its furniture, click the slide show.