Legendary performance artist Marina Abromovic announced today her next public workshop aimed at helping others push beyond their own physical and psychological limits of sitting really still for a really long time while doing something really boring.
In partnership with the Italian furniture maker Moroso, the Marina Abromovic Institute (MAI) will present "Counting the Rice" at this year's Art Basel Miami in December, where participants will try to sit at scary-looking modernist torture tables for a minimum of six hours while they count and separate rice from lentils.
As part of the project, Moroso will release a limited edition of 30 "Counting the Rice" tables designed by Daniel Libeskind along with a collection of other designed objects, the proceeds of which will go to the MAI. (The irony of Abromovic's immaterial art institute releasing a collection of designed objects is not lost on us).
The first iteration of this project was presented earlier this year in the Cortile d'Onore cloister at Milan University during Design Week 2014, where they used Italian art students as their rice-counting, concentration-building victims. Subsequently, the project was opened up to the public at Centre d'Art Contemporain in Geneva in May. A four-hour long YouTube video on that here.
While both earlier iterations used wooden versions of the design, Moroso will present a new design development at Art Basel Miami: "high-performance cement."
Of the design, Moroso writes, "The slab of cement folds over itself, enfolding and pushing the body to carry out the performance" or confess to a crime you didn't commit, "while the vigorous gestural expressiveness of the form is embossed across its surface with complex geometries that give a sense of visual fragmentation."
In keeping with the newly developed strong artistic ties between Abromovic and the Italian furniture manufacture, "The seat takes on a dialectical dimension that goes beyond function to become the metaphor for the virtual union between the visionary genius of Marina Abramovic, the creativity of Daniel Libeskind, and the leading producer of Italian-made design that is Moroso."
Along with the "Count the Rice, Bitch" collection, Moroso announced further plans for collaboration with MAI, and they'll present a new design at Art Basel Miami from Moroso designer Patricia Urquilo.
Image at top: The "Counting the Rice" Chair Designed by Daniel Libeskind for Moroso in cooperation with the Marina Abromovic Institute