High-minded advertising: Adidas and Abramović film explores team spirit

09.07.2014 Adidas : New York : World Cup 2014
Work Relation 2014 - A film by Marina Abramović, in collaboration with adidas

New York – Adidas has worked with artist Marina Abramović on a recreation of her iconic 1978 performance piece, Work Relation, to celebrate the spirit of the World Cup, of which Adidas is a sponsor.

In a three-minute video, Abramović stands to oversee three sets of workers who are tasked with carrying stones from one end of a room to the other. One group moves the stones in buckets, with each individual carrying two buckets. In the second group, two people share the load of one bucket in the middle and another two carry two buckets each. The last group forms a chain of workers, who pass the stones down the line. Each system displays a different kind of efficiency, and as the groups tire, it is the final group – the chain – that lasts the longest.

'One similarity that I wanted to highlight in this video is the importance of group collaboration. When Ulay and I originally performed the piece in 1978, the power of collective strength came through in the performance,' says Abramović. 'I believe that it is important to learn from other disciplines in order to bring new life to whatever it is that you do.'

The video stands out among World Cup sponsors' advertising because of its cerebral nature. It focuses on the spirit of the sport – the importance of teamwork – while elevating it by paralleling it with an art form.

For more on how other brands are capitalising on the World Cup, see Nike's 3D-printed football bag

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