Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović is set to premiere her first VR installation at this year’s Art Basel in Hong Kong.
Inspired by the growing threat of global climate change, Abramović’s interactive performance Rising begs viewers to rethink their attitudes towards a rapidly changing environment.
A digital headset allows viewers to come face-to-face with an avatar of Abramović herself, trapped in a glass tank that slowly fills with water. As the virtual world around them explodes into dramatic images of melting ice caps, Abramović’s asks users to save her from drowning by changing their own actions and attitudes to nature.
“This VR artwork raises questions about technology’s impact on human empathy through the lens of a pressing issue facing our world,” says Abramović. “Changes to the global climate threaten existing ways of living. Rising will offer people the chance to empathise and respond to the needs of others affected by this crisis. I am particularly interested in how audiences’ consciousness and energy will be affected by a virtual experience of helping others.”
The installation was created in partnership with Acute Art, a virtual art studio backed by Abramović. The studio will also be showing Anish Kapoor’s first VR production, Into Yourself, Fall at Art Basel Hong Kong’s HTC Vive Lounge.