On September 23, the retrospective exhibition of Marina Abramović (b. 1946) opened at the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in London. The highly anticipated exhibition has been garnering international attention since its opening. Since the 1970s, the Serbian artist has been widely known for her performance works that push the body to extremes and is now considered an icon of contemporary art and the godmother of performance art. This exhibition marks the first time the RA has organized a retrospective of a female artist.
Through sculpture, video, installation, and performance, the exhibition presents important moments in Abramović’s career. ‘The Artist is Present (2010)’ is re-staged through archive footage, while ‘Imponderabilia (1977/2023),’ ‘Nude with Skeleton (2002/2005/2023),’ ‘Luminosity (1997/2023)’ and ‘The House with the Ocean View (2002)’ are presented through reenactments by young performance artists trained by Abramović in her methods.
ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe presents “Mack at ZKM,” a solo exhibition by Heinz Mack (b. 1931) on view through April 7, 2024. Heinz Mack is a German artist who founded Group ZERO, a significant European avant-garde art collective of the 1950s and 1960s and is considered a pioneer of land and media art. Mack is best known as a “artist of light” for his installations of mirrors and colored prisms in the desert and the Arctic.
Mark started working with natural objects such as light, water, air, and sand in the early 1950s, creating innovative sculptures that combine kinetic principles with new industrial materials such as aluminum and acrylic glass, and chemicals such as phosphorus and mercury. Mark’s work is credited with reinventing the movement of light, allowing the viewer to experience an expansion of perception.
The museum presents a scaled-down version of Mark’s 1959 seminal work ‘Sahara Project,’ which was originally installed in the desert. Also on display is a lesser-known motorized work, ‘Light Choreography.’ The exhibition explores the relevance of Mark’s work in exploring the harmony between humanity, nature, and technology in the Anthropocene and climate crisis of the 21st century.
The inaugural edition of the international sound biennale “Biennale Son” in Switzerland opened on September 16. The biennale highlights the growing importance of sound in contemporary art, and the works on display include installations, sculptures, two-dimensional works, text-based works, films, performances, concerts, and theater, all of which address the theme of sound. The biennale runs through October 29.
The biennale takes place in 17 venues in the Sion, Martigny, Sierre, Ayent, and Vercorin in Valais, including disused power plants, art centers, museums, theaters, castles, and churches. More than 70 artists and musicians participate, and several performances, concerts, and symposia take place during the biennale.