Marina Abramovic to Quiet Glastonbury Attendees for Seven Minutes to Mark a ‘Dark Moment’

Glastonbury, the widely attended music festival in England, generally makes a lot of noise, and this year will be no different, with fans there to see acts such as SZA, Coldplay, Paul McCartney, Avril Lavigne, and many more.

But artist Marina Abramović will also be on hand to cut through all the sound with seven minutes of silence, a gesture that she has said is a “public intervention” meant to bring peace in a world of conflict.

“I want to see how I can go beyond the acid, beyond the mushrooms, beyond whatever is there and touch that moment in their soul and just for seven minutes stop everything,” she told the Guardian this week. “Can you imagine if we succeed? It will be an incredible moment.”

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Abramović said she is hoping to quiet anywhere between 175,000 and 200,000 people—which is well over 160,000 more attendees than have ever witnessed any one of her performances at a given time, according to the artist.

Circa, a British art organization known for situating works on billboards across the globe, is the entity putting on Abramović’s latest stunt, which will take place today. The piece is officially called Seven Minutes of Collective Silence.

How, exactly, will she accomplish making a rowdy crowd go quiet for so long? Abramović didn’t specify. She did, however, visit Stonehenge early this morning, to “get all the energy [she] can,” per the Guardian, and is set to take the stage this evening.

More is known about what she will look like as she is doing it. She is set to wear clothes designed by Riccardo Tisci, and while she kept the specifics of those garments under wraps, she did say they would communicate “peace” in some way.

In the Guardian interview, Abramović spoke of a “dark moment in human history,” although she did not specify what she was referring to. Then she seemed to speak out against protest as a useful strategy altogether, saying, “I always think protest brings more protest; hate brings more hate. I think it’s important to turn to your own self. It’s easy to criticise everything else but what can I do in my own self, how can I change?”

While she probably can’t count on Glastonbury attendees to turn inward en masse in that way, the performance artist can, at least, be sure that she will gain a massive audience. In 2023, 210,000 people reportedly came to the festival, setting an attendance record.

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