Marina Abramovic, godmother of endurance-testing, potentially life-threatening performance art, has long been planning a performance art museum in a former municipal tennis center she bought four years ago in upstate art haven Hudson. The project hasn’t moved forward in years, but now she’s courting conservation-averse Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas to give the building a museum makeover.
The future Center for the Preservation of Performance Art, Abramovic revealed at a talk on Monday evening, will be designed by Koolhaas and dedicated exclusively to performance art that lasts a minimum of six hours. Provided Abramovic can put up the $8 million for the project. She did recently put her Soho loft on the market, which should help.
What will visitors to the CPoPA get for Abramovic’s $8 million? The plan, according to Vulture, is like no museum experience I can think of—not even in light of a recent sensory-deprivation pool and slide exhibition.
At the future museum devoted to marathon pieces, viewers will watch in specially constructed chairs complete with wheels, tables to dine upon, and lamps. If they fall asleep, “the attendant will roll you to the sleeping area” of the theater, [Abramovic] said, but sleepers will still be considered part of the performance. “When you wake up, raise your hand and you’ll be wheeled back,” she promised.
Koolhaas and his Rotterdam-based firm Office for Metropolitan Architecture have a gallery and a theater in New York City to their name—Second Stage‘s Eighth Avenue theater and Lehmann Maupin‘s West 26th Street gallery—so combining the two in an upstate performance art space shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. I just wonder how much of the stately former tennis center Koolhaas will keep.
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A local official indicates that Koolhaas will be handling the interior, another architect the exterior, or at least that’s her understanding:
Since Dennis Wedlick designed her upstate house, and he has an architecture office just a couple of blocks down from the museum site, it would seem possible that he might be involved.
The City of Hudson’s budget is around 8 million dollars. Hudson is Hudson.