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As One, 7800m2

Athens, Greece, 2016

Photography by Panos Kokkinias, Natalia Tsoukala and AKA

In close collaboration with the non-profit organization NEON and the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI), we designed and oversaw the realisation of all exhibit spaces and experiences within the Benaki Museum for As One.

The ground floor was dedicated to the practise of the Abramović Method: a participatory experience in which visitors, unencumbered by their cellphones, watches and external distractions, engage in a series of activities aimed at increasing one’s self-awareness, stillness, and connection with the self and the surroundings. Working with Lynsey Peisinger of MAI, we set up a sequence of initial interconnected spaces for warm ups, aimed at the gradual awakening of the senses, and leading to the main unified space of the Method: windowless, shadowless and vast, time moves slower here. White paint and blonde wood predominate, contributing to the feeling of timelessness and relaxation. Furniture and props, such as platforms, tables and fabric room dividers, were custom designed and constructed.

A large room on the first floor was divided in three parts, each of which was furnished and lit accordingly: a green room for facilitators, a workspace for MAI and NEON staff, and a workshop/learning center for presentations and projections.

Six permanent and 23 rotating greek artists perform newly commissioned long durational works for 8 hours daily – the majority housed in a single space on the second floor and one artist in the courtyard. Working with Paula Garcia and Serge Le Borgne of MAI and each artist individually, we created uniquely painted, furnished and lit environments and enclosures representative of each artist’s vision, yet part of a wider aesthetic and composition.