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  • Press release
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  • London
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  • For immediate release
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  • 27 January 2020

RELEASE | Christie's Presents Marina Abramović’s The Life Powered by Microsoft Hololens 2 Produced by Tin Drum

The Life To Be Presented in Los Angeles, New York and London During 2020
A Major Highlight of Christie's October Frieze Week 2020 Programme

Marina Abramović (R) and Todd Eckert (L)

London – Christie’s will partner with Microsoft, using the company’s HoloLens 2 headset, to power Marina Abramović’s seminal performance piece The Life – the world’s first mixed reality artwork, produced by Tin Drum. The Life will be presented in Los Angeles for a limited appointment-only run from 10 to 15 February 2020 before being exhibited in New York in early May, and finally from 3 to 8 October 2020 in London, a presentation that will coincide with Abramović’s show at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. The Life is the first work of its kind to be presented at auction and is offered by Tin Drum, in association with Abramović LLC with an estimate of £400,000-800,000. This ground-breaking artwork – a fusion of art and technology – will engage new audiences in a dedicated exhibition space within Christie’s, harnessing Microsoft’s pioneering HoloLens 2 technology, and Tin Drum’s visionary production, to bring the artist’s vision to life.

Katharine Arnold, Co-Head, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe: “Christie’s will bring Marina Abramović’s The Life to new audiences during 2020. To coincide with the editions of Frieze Art Fair in both Los Angeles and New York, The Life, powered by Microsoft HoloLens 2, will be displayed in an exhibition space where visitors will experience this ground-breaking performance by one of the most pioneering artists of our time. This mixed reality artwork offers a unique and intimate opportunity to interact virtually with Marina Abramović and we are delighted to bring this to viewers in these vibrant cities at a time when the global art world comes together to celebrate contemporary art.”

Lila Tretikov, CVP of AI and Mixed Reality, Microsoft: “At Microsoft we believe that creating new opportunities for artists to transcend cultural boundaries and amplify their societal impact is at the forefront of creating a more inclusive and optimistic future. By sharing our innovations in mixed reality and artificial intelligence, we bring together science and art in an attempt to understand and explain the world around us. This partnership with Christie’s, Marina Abramović, and Tin Drum showcases the beauty in bringing together these two disciplines to produce a new way to educate and inspire audiences.”

Todd Eckert, CEO, Tin Drum: “We couldn’t be more thrilled to showcase Marina Abramović’s The Life  to Christie’s audiences around the world. As a production company working exclusively within mixed reality, we wanted to take advantage of something that has never been possible before, which is the ability to convey the truth of a human being in the room. We have certainly achieved that with Marina in this piece. Having Christie’s and Microsoft as partners in this presentation is perfect in many ways, not the least of which is that even more people will have the opportunity to embrace our new performance medium.”

In the 19-minute performance of The Life, an authentic representation of the artist appears, moving in a slow, methodical performance through a roped off five-metre circle before evaporating into electricity and air. Unlike virtual reality, mixed reality allows the other visitors and gallery space to remain visible at the same time. Abramović’s use of this evolving technology reflects her longstanding interest in the limitations of the human body and mind: an enquiry that, since the 1970s, has given rise to one of the world’s greatest performance art practices.

Christie’s feature and film on Marina Abramović’s The Life can be viewed online.

About Christie’s

Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s also has a long and successful history conducting Private Sales for clients and online sales are offered year-round across all categories. Christie’s global presence is spread across a network of international salerooms and 61 representatives and offices. Christies.com provides detailed articles and videos on the objects offered for sale alongside the latest advances in digital viewing tools to make Christie’s accessible to all.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.