"Nothingness is rich, nothingness is plentitude, nothingness is the Buddha flatulating on the face of Jesus while divine grace looks on, taking notes," explained Marina Abramovic during a recent press conference regarding "500 Days Of Sum(ME)r," a durational performance due to kick-off at the Serpentine Gallery in June. Somewhat controversially, Abramovic has specified that she will "just show up" and "start being," and that in many ways "the body of Marina Abramovic is its own artwork, a sculpture called The Glory of Genius, 1946—ongoing.”
Visitors to the Serpentine will be forced to abide by certain protocols before entering the artist’s sanctum. Clothes will be removed, smartphones rendered temporarily ‘paralyzed’ by an electromagnetic forcefield. Guests will receive non-sexualized hand-baths from gallery interns wearing macrobiotic togas. Hair that is long or “excessively creative” will be shorn. “You wouldn’t just rush up to a President, or a Pope, or a Pharaoh and be all, Hey, wassup dawg, why don’t you shake my germ-ridden snothand,” clarified Serpentine curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist. “It’s about achieving a certain level of respect, and hygiene, before entering the space of Marina’s purity.”
As for what Abramovic plans to do during her tenure, she is characteristically oblique. Beyond a scheduled series of cameos from the likes of James Franco and Alan Cumming—billed as “experiential celebrity incursions,” for which the Serpentine will charge an additional $299.99 per ticket—the artist is working with a blank slate. “What is life but a series of insignificant moments, waffling along on the heart’s waves, abiding by the fickle currents of desire?” she ventured, gazing milkily into the middle distance while dragging on a Blu e-cig (a habit she picked up from Leonardo DiCaprio during their 2013 collaborative performance using found predator-mammals, There’s Literally A Wolf On Wall Street).
"I might floss my teeth. I might play Angry Birds. I might obsessively tweet 140 characters of blank space," Abramovic went on. "For several hours a day I might recline, standing, against a cool glass wall. There’s a distinct possibility that, covered in honey, I will harness my inner rage and simply tell everyone to get the fuck out of my sight. Or, for instance, if this partnership with Samsung comes through, a few days may be spent taking #SamsungSelfies for their website, using the brand new Samsung Galaxy S5, a truly astounding product that lets you capture lifelong memories in a split second, and also keep a closer eye on your personal fitness by monitoring your own heartbeat."