'Marina Abramović. The Cleaner'

A retrospective on the great artist with paintings, objects, videos, pictures and live performances.

From 21 September 2018 to 20 January 2019

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From 21 September 2018 to 20 January 2019 Palazzo Strozzi in Florence is hosting the highly anticipated exhibition dedicated to Marina Abramovic 'the Cleaner'. She is one of the most interesting, best known but also most controversial figures of the international contemporary art scene. A one-of-a-kind event as it can be expected with anything related to the artist – a native Serbian and naturalized US citizen - who has always surprised audiences with performances that are nothing short of amazing. Unsurprisingly, with photos, videos, photographs and paintings as well as art performances - the real heart of Abramovic’s creativity - the exhibition dedicated to Marina Abramovic in Florence will not be a traditional one. A group of 32 purposely selected and trained performers will every day replicate some of Marina Abramovic's performances. These are performances that, since the ‘70s, have involved, amazed and intrigued the public all over the world. A unique opportunity to experience contemporary art in Florence and its charm together with the Renaissance and medieval allure that permeates the most beautiful corners of this city as well as the actual location of the event. Palazzo Strozzi in Florence is in fact one of the most important buildings in the city, and actually considered as the most beautiful Renaissance palace in Italy. A location that, according to what is quoted by the press, has intrigued the famous artist with its ancient allure.



It is not easy to answer this question in a few words, since any definition is bound to diminish the career of this artist that goes well beyond the concept of being innovative. Abramovic Marina was born in Serbia from parents who were both partisans during the Second World War: her father was even recognized as a national hero, while her mother was the director of the Museum of the Revolution and Art in Belgrade. In that same city she studied art from 1965 to 1972, after which she taught art in Novi Sad while she was already beginning to create her first performances. One of her most disturbing works dates back to 1974, which ended with the artist stripped, scratched and with a gun pointed at her, all at the hands of the attending public. In 1976, Abramovic left Yugoslavia and moved to Amsterdam, where she started her collaboration and relationship with Ulay, a German artist. Highly celebrated is their 'Imponderabilia' performance at the Bologna Modern Art Gallery, where they both stood naked facing each other at the entrance of the museum forcing the public into a physical contact with either of them. Another Marina Abramovic performance in Italy was also 'Balkan Baroque', 1997, at the Venice Biennale, during which she spent several days scrubbing hundreds of cow bones in a basement: her intent was to represent the thousands of lives broken by the war in Bosnia. The experiment, raw but communicatively disruptive, yielded the desired result and the piece of Marina Abramovic performance art was awarded the Venice Golden Lion. Another famous Abramovic performance is surely 'The Artist is Present' which was held at the MOMA in New York. The artist sat still on a chair while visitors took it in turns sitting in front of her. The encounter with Ulay, with whom she has separated several years before, proved to be very emotional.



As we have already mentioned, the Palazzo Strozzi Florence exhibition is a retrospective dedicated to Marina Abramovic and the works that represent her career. There are as many as 2,000 pieces including videos, photographs, paintings, objects, installations and re-performances of some of her representations. All this arguably makes Marina Abramovic's 'The Cleaner' one of the most interesting and engaging Florence exhibitions. Below you will find the times and the dates of the various performances so that you can plan your time in Florence and be sure you will not miss them:

  • Imponderabilia 1997/2018
    Every day from 11.30 to 19.30, Thursday until 21.30 – Main Floor
    As Ulay and Abramovic did in the 1997 Bologna performance, in Florence two naked performers will again be standing facing each other. This time, however, the public can choose whether to pass between them or on the side.

  • Luminosity 1997/2018
    Mon/Thu/Fri from 15.00 to 16.00, Sun from 12.00 to 13.00 – Main Floor
    The performer sits naked on a bicycle saddle with suspended feet. The intensity of the light increases the volume of the space. It is a reflection on the spirituality that controls the body.

  • Cleaning the mirror 1995/2018
    Tue/Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun from 14.30 to 19.30 – Main Floor
    The performer scrubs a skeleton with a brush that she keeps immersing in dirty water, this way never succeeding in the intent and continuing therefore to infinity to stain the skeleton.

  • Freeing series 1975/2018
    Thursday and Saturday from 16.00 - Strozzina
    Among Marina Abramovic artwork, these performances, which represent a series, even in their typical physicality are mainly focused on language and voice. In 'Freeing the memory', the performer, for example, continuously repeats words and phrases in their own language until the mind becomes empty and cannot speak anymore. This is the first time for this piece of performance art in Italy.

  • The house with the ocean view 2002/2018
    From Wednesday 28 November to Sunday 9 December
    Marina Abramovic in the Florence exhibition has set out to recreate through her performers, the experiment conducted for 12 days in New York, when she remained silent without eating in a suspended transparent structure connected to the ground by ladders made of knives.

As you will have understood, among the current Florence exhibitions, this is truly an absolutely unique experience and for this reason you should not miss it. Our advice is for you to plan a nice trip to Florence so that you can attend the various performances of Marina Abramovic exhibition program. Marina Abramovic and Firenze are waiting for you. If you are passionate about art, we also recommend you to book one of our tours that include skip the line tickets so you can be sure you will not waste time standing in the queue. Take a look at our Tours in Florence section and you will find several ideas for the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademy Gallery.


Exhibition 'Marina Abramovic. The cleaner’.

Location: Strozzi Palace – Piazza Strozzi, Florence

Marina Abramovic exhibition times: every day from 10 am to 8 pm, Thursdays until 11 pm.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff


Period: From 21 September 2018 to 20 January 2019

Event location: Florence

Contacts: Re-performance program, info and tickets www.palazzostrozzi.org

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