Marina Abramović

Collaboration with Factum Arte

‘Masterpiece Presents’ launched in 2017 as a large-scale, dedicated exhibition space within Masterpiece London, transforming the fair’s entrance and providing a platform for innovative works of art. In 2018, the space was dedicated to Marina Abramović’s sculptural artworks in an immersive display. Passing through the image of the artist, the visitor then focused on the alabaster heads inside, each radiant with photographic clarity.

Our response was to create a fully enclosed, dark, stealth-like ‘object’, separated from the noisy atmosphere of the main entrance of crowds, ticketing and security checks, by an ethereal fog screen through which all visitors to Masterpiece passed. The installation drew the visitor in through a liminal veil of atomized water onto which an image of Marina with closed eyes was projected, floating in otherwise dark space. The threshold veil to the works inside was gently animated by shifting air currents and the movement of people through it. This is physical space as performance, a crossing over into the artist’s subconscious. It creates a moment of transition as the visitor passes through from the chaos and distractions of the arrival point to the meditative interior for contemplation of Marina’s new works.

There are entrances and exits on all four sides, and the chamfered walls are designed to ‘capture’ and draw people in. Inside there is darkness with minimal, low level, diffused lighting for navigation. The focus is on the central, glowing, self-illuminated alabaster heads, The Five Stages of the Maya Dance. Each is displayed at a different angle, designed for optimum viewing conditions. The visitor will enter at the ideal three metre distance from a full frontal, centrally mounted head. As the visitor moves in and around the space, some of the heads will move into clear focus, while others visually disintegrate.

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