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Microsoft Pulls Ad For Marina Abramović’s Newest Art After ‘Satanism’ Backlash
By Thanussha Priyah, 16 Apr 2020
Image via Microsoft
Microsoft recently teased performance artist Marina Abramović’s latest artwork, The Life, which uses its HoloLens 2 headset. However, the commercial was removed after facing criticism over Abramović’s alleged ties with Satanism.
The video received over 24,000 dislikes on YouTube before it was taken down. The ad surrounded Abramović’s mixed-reality piece, where she would virtually float around her viewers in a red dress when the headset was put on. Her cyber appearance would flicker from time to time for dramatic effect.
The Life is the artist’s first mixed-reality piece, and the first mixed-reality art to go on auction. Using Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 headset, which merges digital objects to interact with the physical environment in real-time, guests will be greeted with a lifelike avatar of the artist. The exhibit reflects the idea of immortality and is based on her previous performance, The Artist Is Present.
Microsoft’s ad aimed to highlight the functions of its headset with her work, but it was overshadowed by her controversial past.
Alex Jones, who runs far-right blog Infowars, published a story binding Microsoft’s new ad with his theory that Abramović was a Satanist.
Abramović became a target to Jones when she was linked to Hilary Clinton’s former campaign chairman, John Podesta, who had his emails leaked back in 2016. One of them included an invitation to the 73-year-old’s dinner party for donors of her crowdfunding project. It was forwarded by his brother, Tony Podesta, who is also an art collector and a lobbyist.
The gathering was called “Spirit Cooking with Marina Abramović,” a nod to her series of performances in the 1990s where she had apparently used pig’s blood to write phrases like, “with a sharp knife cut deeply into the middle finger of your left hand eat the pain” on several museum walls.
Jones and the right-wing media immediately deemed the event to be a “bizarre occult ritual.”
However, Podesta did not attend the get-together, and Abramović declared it was just a “normal dinner,” per artnet News.
She also stated that the whole situation was taken out of context, and suggested people read her memoirs to find that her work “is far away from Satanism.”
The Life will travel from Los Angeles to New York and London, where it will be auctioned off in October 2020.
Microsoft had this Marina Abramovic video on their channel and deleted it.— Cernovich (@Cernovich) April 14, 2020
What the hell are they doing? https://t.co/8MTmK3iSwQ
[via artnet News, cover image via Microsoft]
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