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Plymouth Arts Centre presents The Pigs of Today are the Hams of Tomorrow, a curatorial collaboration with the Marina Abramović Institute for Preservation of Performance Art. The Pigs of Today are the Hams of Tomorrow will stage, document and discuss groundbreaking international performance art in order to examine and sustain the future of the medium. The Pigs of Today are the Hams of Tomorrow takes place over three days at Royal William Yard with performances by six renowned artists and artist-collectives. It is the first in a series of major offsite projects by Plymouth Arts Centre and the first curatorial project of the Marina Abramović Institute for Preservation of Performance Art.
Marina Abramović has, over four decades and on an international scale, pioneered performance as a visual art form. In advance of Marina Abramović’s major retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in March 2010, these performances, live laboratory symposium, publication and parallel events ask: how can the presence of the performance, vital and transformative in the here and now, be communicated long after the event? How can live art have a legacy for younger generations if it can no longer be experienced? Most of all, it aims to support the growth and influence of one of our most provocative and radical art forms. The Marina Abramović Institute for Preservation of Performance Art can therefore be seen as the culmination of the artist’s growing interest in the legacy and permanency of the medium into the future, as a curator and educator as well as a practitioner. The nascent institute will open in a newly acquired former theatre in Hudson, New York State. For performance art, it marks perhaps the first truly institutional moment.
The Pigs of Today are the Hams of Tomorrow is a translation of the title of a conceptual piece of writing by Georg Jappe published by KunstForum International in 1978 on the contemporary state of art practice in relation to global political agendas. In the article Jappe reflects on why the rise of capitalism in the West and of communism in the East might have created organisations in Germany such as the Baader Meinhof group and subsequently the Red Army Faction. The perceived repetition of historical mistakes by the state, which motivated the actions of many European Terrorist organizations, is, in Abramović's view, reflected in the current uncritical nature of much of today’s art practice. For Abramović radical thinking and action in the world of performance art are needed to avoid repetitions of the past, and make art relevant to today’s social and political realities.
For The Pigs of Today are the Hams of Tomorrow Abramović is dedicated to an inventive curatorial approach, addressing the key shifts in live art with performances by six renowned artists and artist-collectives. These international artists illustrate the diversity of contemporary performance art. They demonstrate a range of techniques that are key to the medium, including long-durational work, story-telling, virtual worlds, audience participation, sound, the use of the body and hardcore performance predicated on endurance...
Eva and Franco Mattes (a.k.a. www.0100101110101101.org) are pioneers in the Internet-based net.art movement. For the exhibition, the artists stage what they term Synthetic Performances in the virtual world of Second Life. Second Life is an online platform where participants create a parallel reality, with each user represented by an avatar, a digital figure that they can customise and control. Through their avatars, the Italian-born artists will ‘remix’ and freely reinterpret famous works from the performance-art canon, including Yves Klein’s Leap into the Void (1960).
In a selected space Naked we stand opposite each other in the museum entrance. The public entering the museum has to turn sideways to move through the limited space between us. Everyone wanting to get past has to choose one of us.
-- Marina Abramović, on Imponderabilia (more)