Performances at the Royal Academy (and flights) are off limits for Marina Abramovic following an embolism


The Royal Academy’s (RA) forthcoming Marina Abramovic retrospective spanning 50 years of work is the blockbuster show we’re all waiting for this autumn (23 September-1 January 2024). It is also shockingly the first solo show by a woman in the RA’s Main Galleries, prompting a quirky project from Abramovic just made for the Brits.

“The fact that in 255 years, there has been no woman showing solo in this big space makes it a huge responsibility,” Abramovic tells the RA Magazine. “This is one of the reasons that I absolutely want to hold a Women’s Tea Party at the RA, a private event just for the girls, you know. I want to invite young artists. I want to invite writers, scientists, politicians, women from all kinds of fields, actresses. I want to invest my own energy, to give them my work and my life through the show, and then have tea. This is the fastest sponsored party I’ve ever organised. We immediately found a sponsor; it looks like the English really love tea.”

But Abramovic has also suffered a setback along the RA way. “Now [following an embolism] there is a new restriction in my life. For six months, I can’t take a plane. Usually I take a plane every two, three, five days. So this is an incredible restriction, not planned. To come to London, for the Royal Academy show, I must take the boat from New York,” she adds. The condition means that she is sadly unable to take part in any of the stamina-busting performance pieces planned for the exhibition including The House with the Ocean View (2002). Four significant works will be reperformed not by the starry Serbian herself but by emerging artists, says the RA Magazine.


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