Latest Marina Abramović Parody Is a Deadpan Dog

Along with the wild success that performance artist Marina Abramović has enjoyed in recent years, first at her 2010 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art and now at the Serpentine Gallery in London, there has been a slew of parodies and spoofs: during the recent World Cup it was the Tumblr “Marina Abramović Made Brazil Cry“; the playful meme using the artist’s exhausted expression to hawk over-the-counter medicines like Theraflu and aspirin; and, of course, the M.A.R.F.A. (Marina Abramovic Retirement Fund of America), “dedicated to stopping Marina Abramović from creating further artworks,” to name just a few of the spoofs her seemingly ubiquitous art has spawned.

Now meet Marina Abramopug, an expressionless pug with long dark hair braided to one side and sporting a bright red dog shirt… er, we mean dress. Much like the performance artist she is styled after, Marina Abramopug is conducting a performance called The Artist is Present in which she sits in a chair (conveniently, the performance is in Hyde Park, just outside the Serpentine where the current Abramovic show is ongoing through August 25) and stares directly at the viewer.

The pug’s poker-faced stare alone is priceless, but the canine artist’s site also includes evidence of the powerful impact of the performance on at least one observer who appears to be on the verge of crying. Others stare back or snap photos. The site, which claims that the pint-sized canine is “the grandmother of pug performance art,” also includes comments from her staffers and reactions from the Hyde Park audience, who apparently have been lining up for the opportunity to sit across from Abramopug.

Marina Abramopug's powerful performance art moves a viewer to tears.

A behind the scenes shot of Marina Abramopug rehearsing with assistant Hannah Ballou. She was moved to tears.
Photo: Marina Abramopug via Tumblr.

From Hannah Ballou, “senior personal assistant”: “It’s not easy being in Marina Abramopug’s entourage. Sometimes she makes us collect her feces in plastic bags. (It’s a performance art thing.) Totally worth it, though.” It also includes reactions from “Various folks in Hyde Park outside the Serpentine today, who said: ‘That’s genius.’ ‘That’s animal abuse.’ ‘That’s genius animal abuse.’ ‘That’s way better than what’s going on in there.'”

We wonder what Abramopug’s human doppelganger thinks of the spectacle. Is she flattered by the imitation? Offended at being likened to a dog? Our advice to her, via Andy Warhol: “Don’t pay attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.”


Viewers line up for a chance to sit across from Marina Abramopug.
Photo: Marina Abramopug via Tumblr

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics