Marina Abramovic has terminated plans for her NY art center that was designed by OMA, and people are curious to know where the project’s raised money went. 2.2 million dollars were donated to the art institute by several celebrities, in addition to 5,000 other donors.

Courtesy of OMA

The project, that was announced by the artist in 2012, was publicized as a turning point in the future of Hudson, New York. Dubbed ‘Marina Abramovic Institute’ or ‘MAI’, the center’s aim was to provide space to enhance the “collaboration between art, science, technology, and spirituality.”

The performance artist resorted to Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas—from OMA, to design the institute which was supposed to occupy an old NY theater of a 33,000 square-foot area.

Courtesy of OMA

The first ideas proposed for the project were insanely creative, including seats that would move on their own if the spectators happen to fall asleep during the show.

The project’s cost was expected to be around 20 million dollars, but that number has puffed up to 31 million dollars.
Abramovic’s declaration surprised the public especially the donors, but MAI claims that the raised money was used to pay the architectural firm.

Courtesy of OMA

The funds were raised not for the renovation itself but specifically for the schematics and the feasibility study,” commented a spokeswoman from MAI, “They were used for exactly that purpose.”

MAI has posted the statement below on their website:

MAI’s mission is and has always been to promote performance art and to create communal and participatory art experiences for the largest amount of people possible.

MAI partners with venues and artists presenting workshops and projects around the world. For the past three years, MAI has presented 13 art experiences in 12 countries the majority of which was free of entrance and open to the public. The events have been attended by hundreds of thousands of people.

The building on 620 Columbia Street in Hudson, NY, was donated to MAI by Marina Abramovic and it was intended to provide an educational space to host performances, workshops, lectures, residencies, and research.

The initial architectural study was performed by OMA, New York. At this stage, the projected budget for the completion of the project was estimated between 15 and 20 million dollars.

MAI initiated a Kickstarter campaign to fund the second phase of the studies, the schematic designs. After the completion of this phase, the project budget was estimated to exceed 31 million dollars.

In view of that, the Board of MAI has decided to cancel the building project. The project cost and the project risk far exceeds initial expectations and estimates.
MAI continues to be committed to serving its mission and to achieve the greatest possible global impact.

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