Marina Abramović, sellout? The performance artist’s latest endeavor, a film with Adidas timed to the World Cup, has been met with some puzzlement in art circles. “Working with a corporate brand like Adidas seems a bridge too far,” quoth Artnet. “One can’t help but wonder what that younger woman would think of her older self cannibalizing her oeuvre to sell sportswear.” Gallerist’s headline is more blunt: “Marina Abramović Makes Movie for Shoe Company, Ruins Performance Art Forever.”
It’s not as though Abramović is some garret-bound recluse. The woman starred in a Jay Z video, for chrissakes. Considering that Jeff Koons is currently redecorating H&M and Damien Hirst made a backpack with the Olsens, outrage over “selling out” seems kind of paleolithic. Perhaps it’s that the movie is too closely tied to a famous milestone: It’s a re-creation of the artist’s 1978 performance piece “Work/Relation,” in which participants move stones across a room. (In this version, they’re wearing snappy Adidas sneaks, of course.) Watch the video below and judge this mini-fracas for yourself.