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"The counting rice table"

Find your self-control with simple action, almost trivial.

This is the goal of one of the last performances of the Serbian artist, after moved to New York, Marina Abramovic.

The Counting of the rice is one of the most basic techniques of "Abramovich method" and that the artist has experimented on himself through years and years of dedication.

The exercise consists in separate and count the grains of rice and lentils for a minimum duration of six hours maintaining a seated position, to test their physical and psychological limits in the act of turning a daily activity into a meditation ritual.

For years, Abramovic is committed to the divulgation of this method of concentration which also hopes to dedicate a real school in Hudson transforming an old building of 3000 sqm that she has bought some years ago. An ambitious project which requires a large number of creative energies such as those of design and architecture.

The performer has chosen Moroso as official partners in this project, giving life to a collection of design objects in limited series related to the MAI projects (Marina Abramovic Institute) in which the table, designed by Daniel Libeskind to count the grains of rice, that represents an essential component.

The first prototype of the "Counting rice table" was presented in the occasion of the “Salone del Mobile” in Milan, version that later underwent new material configurations. From here the idea of making a limited set in cement, transforming the table by a functional object to a real sculptural object for collectors.

The one deployed by Marina is a real meeting between design and meditation, a fusion that the artist prefers summarized as follows:

Put yourself in a condition of forced separation. A necessary separation from our everyday life. The important thing is not counting the seeds but to understand that, during the counting, the action is superfluous. The breath beats time.

A very simple, ironic and useless action for our western contemporary society. An action that is repeated in time becomes automatic. But not immediate. You need a concentration, in your body and your mind, that [does] not permit [you] to dissociate from yourself.

A deep and real unconscious consciousness. You do not think about yourself as the centre of the world. And at the same time the world fails. The confusing context, the thoughts and problems disappear. Around that prepared place there is a neutral / clear zero-zone, in which you are not attacked by anxiety and worries of everyday life.

As a viewer, you can immediately see a different strength. Libeskind’s table has been designed as an empty/neutral object, with sleeping forces that are activated by the simple different presence of the performers. The spirit is calm when you look at them. 

Marina Abramovic