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EXCLUSIVE: adidas x Marina Abramovic

SHOWstudio is proud to present the world exclusive of a new film by Marina Abramovic and adidas. The short is the first ever re-staging of Abramovic’s iconic 1970s performance Work Relation. The performance is re-imagined through the lens of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ and explores the parallels between sport and performance. We interviewed Abramovic prior to the launch and found out some more about the affinities she finds between the two disciplines.

Niamh White: There are many parallels between your performance art and sport- commitment, perseverance, endurance, selfless-ness, collaboration, discipline, pain. What are the most important similarities for you? Can one learn from the other?

Marina Abramovic: One similarity between performance and sport that I wanted to highlight in this video is the importance of group collaboration. When Ulay and I originally performed the piece Work Relation in 1978, the power of collective strength came through in the performance. I believe that it is important to learn from other disciplines in order to bring new life to whatever it is that you do. This is something at the heart of my institute, MAI, and something that I felt was important to convey in this video, which was itself a collaborative project.

Niamh White: You often ask your performers and participants to wear lab coats, as though they are a kit or uniform. Why have you chosen to do this?

Marina Abramovic: I ask the performers to wear lab coats to create a sense of collective experimentation. A willingness to experiment and risk failure is what allows for growth, both on an individual level and on the level of the collective. The lab coats also mute external distractions such as bright clothing, which can deepen the internal focus of the performers. When participants perform the Abramovic Method at MAI, they will be asked to wear lab coats for these reasons, as well as to create a temporary community with those who are experiencing the work together.

Watch the video in its entirety exclusively on SHOWstudio now!