The long awaited retrospective exhibition of Marina Abramović, “The Cleaner”, will open at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade on September 21, 2019, and close on January 20, 2020. This will be a unique opportunity for the audience to be introduced to the most important works of one of the leading performance artists in her place of birth, for the first time after 44 years.
Conceived in close collaboration with the artist herself, the exhibition The Cleaner is the first major European retrospective of Marina Abramović. The exhibition made its debut in 2017 at the Moderna Museet (Stockholm, Sweden), and has subsequently travelled to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebæk, Denmark), Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (Oslo, Norway), Bundeskunsthalle (Bonn, Germany), Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi (Florence, Italy) and the Centre of Contemporary Art “Znaki Czasu” (Toruń, Poland). The Belgrade exhibition is the last stop on this tour, and it holds unique significance as it represents the artist’s return to her place of birth, where her career began, and where she last had a solo exhibition in 1975, at the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art, it is said on the website of the Tourism Organization of Serbia
The exhibition chronologically reviews all of the phases of the artist’s multifaceted fifty-year long career. This begins with her early paintings (1960-1969) and conceptual works (1970-1972), followed by her solo performances (1973-1975) and works created with former professional and personal partner Ulay (1976-1988), a period in which she gained international acclaim. Finally, the artist’s solo career from 1991 to 2017, marks her establishment as one of the greatest artists of today. The exhibition showcases over 120 artworks, including paintings, drawings, objects, photographs, audio works, video installations, films, scenography, re-performances and archival materials. Among the works exhibited are anthological works of performance art (Rhythms, 1973-1974; Lips of Thomas, 1975; Relatonal works, 1976-1977; Nightsea Crossing, 1982-1986), as well as representative works from Abramović’s recent body of work (Balkan Baroque, 1997; The Artist is Present, 2010).
The accompanying programme of The Cleaner includes film screenings, lectures about performance art and guided tours through the exhibition.
The exhibition is locally organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, with the support of the Government of Serbia, and is produced by Moderna Museet, Stockholm, in collaboration with Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk and Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn. The golden sponsor in Belgrade are Erste Bank and ERSTE Foundation.
The curator in Belgrade is Dejan Sretenović (MoCAB), and other curators are Lena Essling (Moderna Museet), with Tine Colstrup (Louisiana Museum of Modern Art) and Susanne Kleine (Bundeskunsthalle).