Performing artist Marina Abramovic will debut her first-ever NFT project, “The Hero 25FPS,” in collaboration with the Cultural Institute of Radical Contemporary Art (Circa), which describes itself as “a digital art and culture platform with purpose.” The drop coincides with the broadcast of her 2001 work “The Hero” on an international network of screens, spanning London, Seoul, Milan, Berlin, Japan and New York, at 20:22 local time every evening for three months.
The artist dedicated the work to her father, a soldier during World War II who died the same year as the performance. In the video, Abramovic can be seen riding a white horse and gazing at the horizon outside the camera, holding a waving white flag. In the background, a female voice sings the anthem of Yugoslavia.
Abramovic invites a global audience to consider and assume new definitions of heroism. The image of a strong woman riding a white horse carries symbolic weight on a global stage dominated by masculine authority and intensifying conflict in today’s unstable world.
“Our planet needs uncorrupted heroes with morality, who embody courage and bring real change,” said the artist in a note to the press. “Every day in this world is a shaky, uncertain, constantly changing landscape. For CIRCA 2022, we have this white horse. This white flag. This beautiful land. We need heroes that can bring new light to illuminate us. Heroes that can inspire us to be better, and to work together, not against each other. Heroes who care.”
Until Aug. 31, the video will be projected on giant screens in the most traversed squares of seven metropolises around the world, from Times Square, in New York, to Piazza Cadorna, in Milan. Josef O’Connor, the creator of CIRCA, has invited several artists, including Ai Weiwei, Emma Talbot and Yoko Ono, to present video works on giant screens in squares around the world. For this occasion, Abramovic also wrote “‘The Heroes’ Manifesto,” a reconceptualization of her 2011 “An Artist’s Life Manifesto,” described as a response to the urgent need for heroism in art.
“This is a landmark three-month intervention for the CIRCA platform and there is no artistic voice more vital at this moment than that of Marina Abramovic,” commented O’Connor. “With tensions escalating around the world, it is the right time for us all to redefine heroism. This is not a moment for inaction; instead, in collaboration with one of the world’s greatest living artists, we are honoured to invite radical new visions of those who will lead us all into the future.”