Performance art diva Marina Abramović has already utilized social platforms such as Kickstarter and Reddit and celebrities like Jay Z and Lady Gaga in order to promote and fund the Marina Abramović Institute, a giant sleek space in Hudson, NY that will “will serve as her legacy and homage to time-based and immaterial art.” And yet, some of us have been surprised at her collaboration with Adidas in “restaging” Work Relation — her 1978 performance with Ulay — to somehow tie it into the World Cup by revisiting the “themes of the original, while also paying tribute to adidas’ partnership with the 2014 FIFA World Cup.” It “demonstrates the many parallels that exist between the artist’s piece and the play of any team sport.”
The performance is very simple and involves the dragging of bricks from one side of the room to another by individuals, pairs and chains of people. TL;DW — chains work best. Go team!
Let’s be clear, in the context of her body of work, this is one performance that never needed to be remade…. This tribute happens in the form of performers wearing Adidas shoes, and the number of performers, 11, matching the number of players on a soccer team. It’s so dumb, and it’s so opportunistic, that there seems little useful reflection about the “work” aside from identify where things took their grisly turn.