Folkwang students from Marina Abramović’s Free Interdisciplinary Performance Lab to perform at the Museum Folkwang in July

Internationally acclaimed performance artist Marina Abramović is working with students from all artistic disciplines as part of the Pina Bausch Professorship at the Folkwang University of the Arts. The jointly crafted performance project will be on show at the Museum Folkwang from 30 June to 9 July 2023.

Since the 22/23 winter semester, Marina Abramović has been working with international students from all Folkwang disciplines over four workshop phases called the Free Interdisciplinary Performance Laboratory, to prepare individual and collaborative performances. At the end of the second phase, the artist decided that the final presentation would be put on at the Museum Folkwang as part of a nine-day ‘Long Durational Performance’ event, primarily centered on showcasing the focus, perseverance and concentration of the 26 young participating artists – who include singers, dancers, photographers, actors, directors and composers aged 17 to 39.

The students from the Free Interdisciplinary Performance Labs are: Eleonora Arnold, Gloria Carobini, Leon Maximilian Focker, Camilla Gerstner, Klara Günther, Camillo Guthmann, Anna Veronika Hargitai, Pau Holtkamp, Smila Vita Hoppe, Jakob Jentgens, Moonjoo Kim, Sophie Kockler, Goa-Louisa Kollewijn, Florian Kresser, Frederico Mendes Teixeira, Francesco Marzano, Julian Mattlinger, Anaïs-Manon Mazic, Gaia Pellegrini, Konstantin Pütz, Marija Radovanovic, Janina Schweitzer, Aleksandar Timotic, Luke Venatier, Anton Vichrov and Theo Voerste.

‘I am very happy to announce that the Museum Folkwang will give us substantial space to show long durational work during the last working block’, said Marina Abramović. ‘The performances will happen continuously for 9 days, 6 hours each day. For me, this is a very big achievement as it will be the first time the university and the museum will collaborate on this scale. For my method of teaching, it is very important to expose students in the very early stage to real professional working contexts and to real audiences.’

Born in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1946, Marina Abramović is a performance artist, best known for creating some of the form's most important early works, and who’s fifty year career has expanded the boundaries of art-making today. Since the 1970’s she has been creating performance work worldwide, that has pushed physical and mental limits through her personal story, tackling some of the world’s most universal and urgent issues. In 2010, Abramović had her first major U.S. retrospective and simultaneously performed for over 700 hours in The Artist is Present at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her first European retrospective was displayed at seven museums, including the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn in 2018. In 2023, Abramović will be the first female artist to host a major solo exhibition in the Main Galleries of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. In 2012, she founded the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI), which presents and supports performance art with a focus on long durational work at a global scale. Marina Abramović is highly regarded and respected around the world for her sensational work, earning her numerous accolades including the Venice Biennale Golden Lion (1997), Austrian Decoration of Honor for Science and Art (2008), French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Officer (2014), Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts in Spain (2022), and the forthcoming Sonning Prize in Denmark (2023). 

Prof. Peter Gorschlüter, director of the Museum Folkwang: ‘With Marina Abramović and her class from the Folkwang University of the Arts we are sending a clear signal with regards to the interdisciplinary nature of the Museum Folkwang and further pursuing our performance and dance programme, which, in recent years, has seen exhibitions including 12 Rooms, Global Groove and William Forsythe. We look forward to this also intensifying the collaboration between the Folkwang University of the Arts and the Museum Folkwang.’

Marina Abramović is the first to hold the Pina Bausch Professorship. The Folkwang University of the Arts has used funding from the NRW state government to establish the new Pina Bausch Professorship – named after world-famous Folkwang alumna Pina Bausch and run in collaboration with the Pina Bausch Foundation – for the 2022/23 winter semester. 

The Pina Bausch Professorship provides an opportunity to secure internationally acclaimed artists from all disciplines for one-year guest professorships at the Folkwang University of the Arts. These professorships enable them to work with the students to develop new work methods and adopt research approaches and mindsets that transcend all boundaries. 

‘The new Pina Bausch Professorship is a huge gift to our students and underlines the unique opportunities available to those who study at our university. It has been impressive to witness what an extra special experience it is for all the participants to be working with Marina Abramović. Having the final performance at the Museum Folkwang provides a great international forum for the 26 young Folkwang artists’, says Prof. Andreas Jacob, president of the Folkwang University of the Arts.

The Pina Bausch Professorship is made possible by the North Rhine-Westphalia State Ministry of Culture and Science. The first professorship is also being specially funded by the Kunststiftung NRW. The performance at the Museum Folkwang is being supported by the Folkwang-Museumsverein e. V.


Free Interdisciplinary Performance Lab
30 June to 9 July 2023
Daily, except Mondays, 12 pm – 6 pm
Museum Folkwang
Museumsplatz 1
45138 Essen


Free Interdisciplinary Performance Lab – Reharsal
Photo: Gustav Glas

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Free Interdisciplinary Performance Lab – Rehearsal
Photo: Gustav Glas