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Student life United Kingdom Art&Fashion Editor-in-Chief's column Kristina Lebedeva Popular

The Spirit in Any Condition Does Not Burn: Marina Abramovic’s Half-century Work at Royal Academy of Arts in London

As I walked into the hallowed halls of the Royal Academy of Arts in London on September 27th, just a couple of days after the grand opening, I had little idea of the profound experience that awaited me. My destination was an exhibition by the renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic, a name synonymous with pushing the boundaries of artistic expression. What I encountered was not merely an exhibition but an immersive journey into the enigmatic world of the last 50 years of Marina Abramovic's artistry.
Abramovic, known for her groundbreaking work in performance art, has always sought to challenge conventions and provoke thought. As a first-time visitor to her exhibition, I was awestruck from the very beginning.
The transformative nature of performance art and the emotional connections it forges between artist and audience seemed to outreach any limit.
Upon entering the exhibition space, I was met with an ambiance permeated with an almost sacred hush, inviting reflection and mindfulness. The walls were adorned with photographs and videos documenting Abramovic's iconic past performances, such as "The Artist is Present", “Rhythm 0”, “Balkan Baroque” and more, laying the historical foundation for the immersive experience that lay ahead.

The centerpiece of the exhibition was a reimagining of Abramovic's works “Imponderabilia”, “Nude with Skeleton”, “Luminosity” and “The House with the Ocean View''. They were reperformed by the next generation of performance artists, trained by the Marina Abramović Institute. This was a unique opportunity to partake in her artistry, with the performers holding eye contact, transcending words, and inviting an intimate connection.

Marina Abramovic's unwavering presence and her gift for making time stand still were felt throughout the exhibition.
I couldn't help but marvel at the depth of emotion and vulnerability that she and her performers displayed, as they met the gazes of countless visitors. It was a powerful reminder of the profound impact that human connection and presence can have.
The exhibition extended beyond the most renowned performances, featuring various installations and pieces that explored themes of the body, gender, identity, and endurance. Abramovic's daring exploration of these themes was apparent in her choice of materials, from her use of crystals and gold leaves to the symbolism of her props.

Abramovic's ability to evoke visceral reactions from her audience was nothing short of extraordinary. As visitors, we were not mere spectators; we became integral participants in the performance, pushed to contemplate the boundaries of our own existence and the power of presence.

Marina Abramovic's exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London was a captivating and transformative journey into the depths of the human spirit. It left me stunned and profoundly moved, as I witnessed the profound influence of her life's work.
It served me as a powerful reminder of the importance of being present, embracing vulnerability, and challenging the limits of artistic expression.
As I left the Royal Academy of Arts, I carried with me not only memories of this extraordinary exhibition but also a heightened appreciation for the power of art to transcend time and space. Marina Abramovic's work continues to be a testament to the enduring impact of performance art and its ability to awaken the depths of the human soul. It was an experience I will carry with me, forever altered by the power of the present.