Culture shock

Culture shock

There’s an interminable list of new, and at times hardly-believable, wellness treatments – half scary, half intriguing – that promise to cure the most obscure of ailments and rejuvenate the weariest of souls. But a new centre from Belgrade-born and New York-based Marina Abramovic, one of the most critically acclaimed and controversial figures in performance art today (she once masturbated as part of a show at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City), promises to offer a very unique type of soul-searching experience.

The artist has revealed plans for the Marina Abramovic Institute, a new ‘cultural spa’ in a former theatre in the small city of Hudson in the Catskills, upstate New York. Her vision? To create a temple-like centre with treatments not dissimilar from her works, including her 2012 retrospective show ‘The Artist Is Present’ at MoMa in New York City, where she invited guests to join her in silence and bask in her aura.

The idea is that visitors sign a contract to take part in a series of ‘The Abramovic Method’ mind and body cleanses for at least two hours. Forget slippers and bathrobes and think white lab coats and industrial-duty earphones. Treatments will include standing, sitting and lying naked with crystals and intense mediation. You can see Lady Gaga trying it out here.

Each treatment has been devised to rejuvenate awareness in an open environment – a holistic ‘salon for artists’ as Abramovic refers to it, where ideas can be engaged away from the virtual world of the internet.

Abramovic hopes to open the institute in 2014, designed by OMA architects, with the $661,452 she has raised from 4,765 backers via Kickstarter. You can get a small taster of the treatments from Abramovic herself here.

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