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Hannah Ballou

Meet Marina Abramopug, the pug Marina Abramovich

If you didn't manage to see ‘The Artist Is Present’, there is now a dog replacement. Thanks, internet!

It's the last weekend of "512 Hours", Marina Abramovic's performance art marathon at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Queues for the piece were initially out of the door, so we're sure Abramovic wouldn't hold it against you if you didn't make it down – especially seeing as there was a much cuddlier replacement in the Hyde Park. Meet Marina Abramopug, the grandmother of pug performance art.

Recreating "The Artist Is Present" from Abramovic's piece at her 2012 MoMA retrospective, Abramopug made her debut outside the Serpentine this July and calmly sat on a chair staring into the eyes of visitors, all of whom were visibly moved in some undefinable but totally spiritual way by Abramopug's presence alone. There is also a Tumblr page documenting the performance.  

Performance artist and comedian Hannah Ballou is Abramopug's partner-in-crime and is adamant that the idea of "The Artist Is Present" came from the pug herself. 

"It's all Marina," she tells Dazed. "I'm happy to take a back seat to Marina Abramopug's genius. It's an honour just being around her." Ballou says that public reactions to "The Artist Is Present" have included accolades such as: "That's genius", "that's animal abuse", and "that's genius animal abuse". 

According to Ballou, Marina Abramovic is aware of Marina Abramopug. "Her entourage have come and participated," Ballou says. "One of them told me he showed her a picture, and that it was the weirdest conversation he ever had with her." We can only imagine. 

"The Artist Is Present" was apparently a resounding success and future work is already in the pipeline, although it won't be running as long as "512 Hours".

"Marina Abramopug isn't quite as committed to durational performance as Marina Abramovic," Ballou explains. "She's open to performing the work again though, if invited by a suitably prestigious institution. She's in discussions with rapper Snoop Dogg about a future collaboration, which we think will really shake up the art world."