Lady Gaga participates in Marina Abramovic’s ‘Solaris’ reading

Lady Gaga, performing at the Grammy Awards in 2011, lent her speaking voice to a marathon reading of "Solaris."
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Lady Gaga is a big fan of Marina Abramovic, and vice versa. The two outré personalities -- the former from the pop-music world, the latter from the realm of performance art -- have sung each others’ praises about their shared taste for provocative visual statements.

On Saturday, Lady Gaga teamed up with the artist by lending her time and speaking voice to a marathon reading of the sci-fi novel “Solaris” that took place at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn.

The reading lasted eight hours -- the book is a little more than 200 pages long -- and featured Lady Gaga reciting a section of the Stanislaw Lem novel via video. The event was a benefit for the Marina Abramovic Institute, which is planning to build a performance art and performing arts center in upstate New York.


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Abramovic has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $600,000 for the design phase of the building. The cost of the center is expected to be $20 million.

The Institute has uploaded a video of Lady Gaga reciting a passage from the first chapter of “Solaris.” Aside from a brief glimpse of the singer at the start of the video -- her hair dyed black and hanging over much of her face -- the clip is dark and features only audio of her voice.

According to one report, Abramovic wanted listeners to wear blindfolds in order to better concentrate on the spoken word. The reading was organized by the Atlas Review, a literary magazine, and the Marina Abramovic Institute.

Abramovic’s center will be dedicated to presenting long-form performance-art creations that have running times of more than six hours.

[Update]: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Marina Abramovic organized the reading. It was organized by the Atlas Review and the Marina Abramovic Institute.


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