MARINA ABRAMOVIC METHOD
HENIE ONSTAD ART CENTER, OSLO
Interview by Lila Nikolaou with the Italian artist Serena Poletti who was participating in the Cleaning the house workshop in Serifos island, Greece and in the Abramović Method in Oslo, Norway at 2018.
Abramović Method in Oslo, Norway at 2018
The exhibition, The Cleaner, at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter at 2018 was the first, large retrospective pattern of Abramović work in Europe presented at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter on November 2018. The Abramović Method was also presented widely to the public from 27 of February to 4 of March.
1. What Abramović method made you experience regarding yourself?
How much focus can allow you to have strong control over yourself.
2. How would you characterize the communication/connection with the other participants (community energy)? Definitely sharing something special of intense whether it's pain or happiness creates a strong bond even between those you don't know. It's something very powerful that I believe can bond you with someone for life.
3. What the method added or changed in the way you experienced Abramović art in at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter?
In a way it made me more involved and empathetic with Marina Abramovic's work and allowed me to enter her world, her mind, for a while and understand again what her need was as an artist and as a human being.
First of all when we approach a performance-work there is, first of all, a visual-aesthetic impact, which can be liked or not, and then we want to understand the reason, the story of that creation. This workshop has allowed us to understand not only the story, but has allowed us to identify with the artist in the first person.
CLEANING THE HOUSE
in collaborazione con l'artista Paula Garcia
Serifos was chosen by Marina Abramović because of the natural beauty, flora and minerals which are ideal elements helping participants to reach a state of peace and inner strength. There were two different workshops taking place, from 27 – 30 August and from 1 - 4 September at Serifos island, at 2018. This was the first time that anyone could participate, not only performance artists.
1. Why did you decide to participate on the cleaning the house workshop, in Serifos, on that year? Did you have particular expectations?
I wanted to attend the workshop in 2018 because I only learned that year that you could participate. I didn't want to set expectations for myself, but simply was very excited and open to any kind of experience.
2. How your body responded during the process (no speaking, no eating, repetitive movements, time)?
Initially I was worried about fasting for 4 days because I had never done it. The first and second day I felt tired in the morning, simply because we had to go down to the beach and walk back up a small path . But we had a lot of free time during the day to rest and gather energy. In fact, it was recommended that we not read, but we could write and maybe make some notes about the day's experience. Time seemed to slow down and so did my body and perhaps my mind. Calm, but more receptive.
3. Were there particular feelings or intense moments (angry, shame, deep emotions, peace, connection, self - awareness)? Yes of course.
I must say that there were many different moments even during the same day. I felt a lot of connection with the other participants in the workshop, both in the morning when we were doing some stretching and yoga, and during some of the exercises, especially during the slow walk, when they blindfolded us and made us walk in a messy way and we could feel the presence of another person and even touch them. I also felt very connected to my consciousness and my surroundings. It gave me a great sense of peace, which was definitely facilitated by the spectacular landscape around me. The mountains with the wild grasses and the sea. On the last day during the last exercise I was very tired and felt a bit frustrated because I could not stand the physical effort, but then there was a liberating moment when I cried.
4.Was there a difference in the process during creating your artwork after the workshop or a difference of how you see yourself as an artist? Definitely this experience gave me a way to be able to better prepare myself for my work as an artist. It showed me how to prepare my mind and body and made me realize how much I can focus and how to concentrate to express what I feel through art. I think it's a kind of training that we should all do, artists and non-artists alike, to be more in tune with ourselves and our surroundings.
5. Are you using some of the tools /exercises of the workshop in your life? Yes, I do occasionally do some exercises on my own, but I find it difficult to get away from a chaotic environment. I would also like to be in the company of someone else to at least do some exercises together that require the participation of several people.
6. For whom would be useful to have this experience? For all creative and non-creative people, athletes, teachers, doctors who simply need to be more in tune with themselves and want to listen to their body and mind to improve their lifestyle.
7.Three words to describe the workshop : self-awareness, well-being, concentration
Lila Nikolaou, Master studies in Art and ,management, Ca'Foscari Venezia
and teacher of the Yoga Science in Greece