Marina Abramović Takes to Kickstarter to Raise $600K for Performance Art Institute

The artist with a study model of the Marina Abramović Institute. (Courtesy OMA)

“In the life of an artist, it’s very important to think of the future,” Marina Abramović has said. “When you die, you can’t leave anything physical—that doesn’t make any sense—but a good idea can last a long, long time.” Her good idea? Purchase a crumbling old theater in Hudson, New York (check!), get Rem Koolhaas and OMA on board for a gut reno (done!), and channel 40 years worth of pioneering performance art into the Marina Abramović Institute for the Preservation for Performance Art, a living archive-cum-laboratory that will explore “time-based and immaterial art,” including performance, dance, theater, film, video, opera, and music. To help achieve that last part, the artist has launched a Kickstarter campaign, where her goal is to raise $600,000 by August 25.

“I feel like I’ve become a brand, like Coca-Cola,” said Abramović of her decision to name the institute after herself. “When you hear ‘Marina Abramović,’ you know it’s not about painting. It’s about performing art, and it’s about hardcore performing art.” Hardcore donors to her Kickstarter effort (those who pledge $500 or more) can receive thank-you gifts such as a tour of the MAI and OMA offices, an eye-gazing experience via webcam, and lunch with the artist, but there’s something for everyone, including an 8-bit Pippin Barr video game version of the institute ($5 donation) and access to live-stream demos of Abramović Method exercises ($25). Our favorite performative bonus is reserved for those who pony up $10,000 or more. They’ll be treated to a life event called “Nothing”: “Marina will do nothing. You will do nothing,” notes the website. “You will not be publicly acknowledged.”