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  • “Work Relation 2014” by Adidas and Marina Abramović

  • “Work Relation 2014” by Adidas and Marina Abramović

  • “Work Relation 2014” by Adidas and Marina Abramović

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Adidas teams up with Marina Abramović for “Work Relation 2014” short film

Marina Abramović and Adidas come together for “Work Relation 2014”, a 3-minute short film that illustrates the power of teamwork and explores the parallels between sport and art, paying tribute to the brand’s partnership with the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The film is based on Abramović iconic performance “Work Relation”, first presented by the artist and her then partner Ulay in 1978 at the Theatre ann Rijn in Arnhem, The Netherlands. The performance portrayed three ways of transporting stones from one end of a room to another, each one corresponding to a different system of cooperation and efficiency: an individual alone with a bucket, two people sharing buckets and a human chain.

The Adidas video recreates the original piece, featuring eleven performers, a reference to the total members of a football team, all dressed in white lab coats from the Marina Abramović Institute and Adidas Samba sneakers, a style first introduced in 1950 as a football-training shoe. Abramović acts as a referee figure that sets the rules of the game, while the team utilizes three different approaches to carry out the same task. “When Ulay and I originally did this performance in 1978, we found that the first group to give up is the relationship – the two people sharing the bucket,” the Serbian artist explains in a voiceover. “The next to give up are the two individuals. The chain is the most efficient message. The chain has the most endurance. The chain stays forever.”

Shot at Pioneer Works art center in Brooklyn, NY, by filmmaker Dustin Lynn, the video is an interesting comment on the value of commitment and the strength found in togetherness. “I believe that it is important to learn from other disciplines in order to bring new life to whatever it is that you do,” adds the celebrated artist.