For Frieze Week, Marina Abramović Distills Her Art and Life Into… a Macaron
Macaron fans around the world, rejoice! Art giant Marina Abramović has just introduced her very own version of the French delight.
Last night in London, journalists and tastemakers gathered in the city’s most opulent department store to sneak a preview of the limited-edition creations that promise to capture the taste of the Serbian performance artist and allow fans to experience her in a brand new way.
“I love sweets, there’s something so soothing [about them]; it’s like lovemaking,” Abramović, who was not actually present, intoned over the sound system. Unusual as they may seem, the bespoke macarons—available for purchase at Harrods—slot neatly alongside her body of work that has repeatedly experimented with the ephemeral, and has often used the body as a means to explore different concepts.
Abramović is the first subject of a new series titled “Pastry Portrait,” the brainchild of art advisor Raphaël Castoriano, whose company, Kreëmart, pairs luxury bakers (in this instance, macaron giant Ladurée) with contemporary artists to create work using the medium of sugar. In the past, Castoriano has teamed up with artists such as Maurizio Cattelan, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Vik Muniz, Terence Koh, Kalup Linzy, Anselm Reyle, and Richard Tuttle.
Conceptually, the project matches Abramović’s affinity with the intangible. “My work is most of the time immaterial because performance art is immaterial, it is conceptual and limited by time,” she said in a statement. “Kreëmart’s work in the medium of sugar is completely immaterial too, because you consume it, you eat it and it’s gone. What is left behind is the memory of what you eat.”
Abramović‘s macarons, which come in a triangular box of three, are the outcome of a complex process devised by Castoriano to translate her memories and identity into an edible experience.
So what does Marina Abramović taste like? The sweets are a variation on Prussian Blue, a warrior color that is tied to memories of her parents and of the ocean, and they leave a guilty blue stain on your tongue. Each is stamped with Abramović‘s recently re-discovered family crest, a 17th century warrior’s emblem depicting a wolf eating a sheep, and one of the treats is wrapped in gold leaf. The flavors involved are strong and, much like the artist herself, aren’t for everybody.
“My grandmother, early morning, making coffee. She never trusted anybody to buy ready coffee, she would buy the green beans and then burn them herself, the smell of coffee was everywhere in the house,” murmurs Abramovic from a screen as she bites into the treat for the camera. “Then I remember the smells of fresh basil, thyme, cardamom seeds, and exotic smells from the trips I took later on and remember exploring volcanoes and waterfalls and remember this feeling in the early morning when I see the line of the sea just meet the ocean, and ocean meet the sky. All of this, in this macaron of me.”
Only 250 boxes of the macarons are available this week at Ladurée in London’s Harrods. Not in London? Fear not; you can still get a taste of Marina if you’re in Paris from October 16, and at FIAC between October 18 and 22. Additional launch dates and cities, including Milan, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Tokyo have also been promised. See some more photos of the unique macarons below.
Follow artnet News on Facebook.