Want an ‘Intimate Digital Experience’ With Marina Abramović? The Artist Is Selling Her First-Ever ‘Mixed Reality’ Work at Auction

Has Abramović invented a new genre of art?

Todd Eckert and Marina Abramovic. Image courtesy of Christie's
Todd Eckert and Marina Abramović. Image courtesy of Christie's.

Performance art star Marina Abramović has made “the world’s first Mixed Reality artwork,” according to Christie’s, which plans to sell the work, titled The Life, at its Frieze Week auctions in London in October 2020.

To experience the “intimate digital encounter” with the artist herself, viewers put on wearable spatial computing devices and watch as a hologram of the artist appears and paces around a 15-foot circle before evaporating into thin air. Christie’s explains that, unlike virtual reality, mixed reality allows the other visitors and gallery space to remain visible at the same time. The 19-minute performance premiered at the Serpentine Gallery earlier this year.

Abramović created the work with her partner, film producer Todd Eckert, and the two have consigned it to Christie’s directly. It is estimated to sell for $700,000 (£600,000), even though the fabrication reportedly cost $1.3 million (£1 million). There are three editions, plus one artist’s proof, which Abramović will retain.

Christie’s said the estimate is based on the market for Abramović’s work. The artist’s current auction record stands at $365,000, set at Christie’s New York in May 2015 for 12 works of photographic documentation, The Complete Performances (2004), according to the Artnet Price Database.

Abramović’s global fame could help create buzz and potential demand for the new genre of mixed reality art. The sale will coincide with the artist’s show at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, marking the first exhibition in the main gallery by a woman in the institution’s 250-year history. Early next year, Christie’s will announce dates and cities for an international tour of The Life.

See Abramović and Eckert discussing the work in a short film here.


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