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Visitors have to squeeze between nude models in order to enter new art exhibition

Katherine Sidnell

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Visitors have to squeeze between nude models in order to enter new art exhibition

Featured Image Credit: Royal Academy of Arts London / David Parry

The Royal Academy has a new art exhibition which has raised more than a few eyebrows.

It’s not just what's on the walls that is proving to be controversial though, as the entrance features naked models who people have to literally squeeze themselves through to enter.

Whilst artist Marina Abramović usually bares her soul in her work, her latest installation is showing a whole lot more skin.

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For those brave enough to see Abramović’s exhibition, you’ll need to be over sixteen and within travelling distance of central London.

The Royal Academy's new exhibition has raised a few eyebrows. Credit: Royal Academy of Arts, London / David Parry
The Royal Academy's new exhibition has raised a few eyebrows. Credit: Royal Academy of Arts, London / David Parry

Once at the Royal Academy of Art (RA), you’ll need to brush past a man and woman’s naked bodies to step inside.

Rotating different models through it's run, the exhibition is called Imponderabilia and is not for those who are prudish.

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Whilst there is a separate entrance visitors can use, the RA has encouraged people to experience the exhibit as the artist intended.

Rather than a simple publicity stunt, the gallery’s Head of Exhibitions Andrea Tarsia says that the entire exhibition forces people to confront ‘nakedness, and the gender, the sexuality, the desire’.

Once inside, there will be similar explicit pieces, with 'Luminosity' featuring a naked woman on a bicycle saddle whilst hung in a crucifix pose. (Yes, you read that right!)

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Understandably, there are multiple safety precautions to protect performers and the public when they view the exhibition.

As well as ID checks, all attendees are banned from photographing and filming the live performances.

Visitors are also warned about any inappropriate touching or behaviour, with gallery staff close by in case of any issues.

Abramović has also ensured that a doctor, psychologist and nutritionist are on standby during the lengthy exhibition, which runs until January 1.

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Marina Abramovic did a similar performance piece in the 1970s. Credit: Getty/Nikola Ilic
Marina Abramovic did a similar performance piece in the 1970s. Credit: Getty/Nikola Ilic

The artist performed a similar piece, called 'Rhythm 0', in 1974 during which she let the public freely interact with her and use 72 objects however they wished.

Whilst the performance started peacefully, things quickly escalated, and some attendees began to act violently toward Abramović.

One attendee even slashed her throat with a scalpel part way through the performance.

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Nearly five decades on, the 78-year-old wanted to ensure the models didn’t experience the same issues and told the Observer: “[They have] All the stuff I never had when I did it. But they are great performers, people that I trust.”

Across the coming months, 42 performers will take part in the exhibition at the RA – with many receiving training from the artist beforehand.

Topics: News, Art, UK News

Katherine Sidnell
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