Artist Marina Abramovic has commissioned OMA to develop a former theater in Hudson into the Marina Abramović Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art (MAI). The project, led by Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas in OMA’s New York office, marries Abramović’s 40 years of pioneering work in the genre with OMA’s innovation in theatres, museums and curation.
The mission of the MAI is to cultivate new kinds of performance while functioning as a living archive, preserving and hosting performances of historic pieces. Abramovic plans to use the space as a laboratory for exploring time-based and immaterial art – including performance, dance, theater, film, video, opera, and music – through collaboration with practitioners in the realms of science, technology, and education. Working with the local Hudson community as well as schools and institutions from around the world, the MAI will host workshops, public lectures and festivals. As well as training artists, Abramovic also wants to train audiences in the mental and physical disciplines of creating and experiencing long-durational work. Abramovic commented: “MAI's aim is to protect and preserve the intellectual and spiritual legacy of performance art from the 1970's into the future, and will serve as an homage to time-based and immaterial art."
Led by partners Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas in collaboration with associate Jason Long, the project will be designed locally out of OMA’s New York office. Shigematsu commented: “We are excited to design a new performance typology, unique in its integration of specific parameters for long duration works.” The institute will be housed in a former theatre in Hudson, New York, the birthplace of the Hudson River School, the first American Movement, which later became an indoor tennis court, then an antiques warehouse and market before falling into disrepair. Abramovic bought the theatre in 2007.
OMA’s design will enhance the existing structure to accommodate both the research and production of performance art. As a venue specifically created for long duration performances, OMA will also develop new types of furniture, lighting and other elements to facilitate the viewing of such works.
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