work relation 2014: a short film by marina abramovic, adidas and SHOWstudio




adidas presents its collaboration with performance artist marina abramović, unveiling a short film by SHOWstudio that celebrates the performance brand’s partnership and support of the 2014 FIFA world cup in brazil. the three-minute video captures the first ever re-staging of abramović’s 1978 performance ‘work relation’ – which focuses on commitment, teamwork and the strength found in togetherness – re-imagined through the lens of the popular quadrennial sporting event. in the reenacted piece, eleven performers reference the total members of a football team. together, the performers harness the fundamental principles of the sports world – teamwork, discipline and perseverance — to once again transport stones from one side of the room to the other.



video courtesy adidas



using only buckets and human labor, the three models compare and contrast systems of cooperation and efficiency, with the participants’ bodies serving as the medium.


‘one similarity between performance and sport that I wanted to highlight in this video is the importance of group collaboration,’ explains abramovic. ‘when ulay and I originally performed the piece work relation in 1978, the power of collective strength came through in the performance. I believe that it is important to learn from other disciplines in order to bring new life to whatever it is that you do. this is something at the heart of my institute, MAI, and something that I felt was important to convey in this video, which was itself a collaborative project.’



project information:


creative director: marco brambilla
director: dustin lynn
director of photography: john schmidt
editor: akiko iwakawa
audio mix: elizabeth mcclanahan
location: pioneer works, brooklyn, new york
produced by subject, in association with the marina abramović institute + adidas