Marina Abramovic: Exhibition that invites visitors to squeeze between nude performers gets mixed reviews

Two models stand eye to eye, completely nude.

Between them is space for an average-sized body, squeezing sideways. This is the entry to a new London art exhibition.

The Royal Academy of Arts is presenting a retrospective of Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović, whose career has spanned five decades.

An alternative entrance will be available for visitors who do not wish to use the naked doorway - a work known as Imponderabilia.

Walking between the models creates a "confrontation with nakedness, gender, sexuality and desire", the Royal Academy's head of exhibitions Andrea Tarsia has previously said.

Abramović is known to push her physical and mental boundaries in the pursuit of art.

In 2010, she sat for eight hours a day for nearly three months at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Visitors were invited to sit in front of her for as long as they wanted, with more than 1,500 people joining the performance. Videos of this performance will form part of the Royal Academy's retrospective.

The House With The Ocean View will also be reperformed. In this work, performers stay in the room for 12 consecutive days, 24 hours a day.

The original performance was undertaken without food, and no talking, writing or reading was allowed.

It is not known if the performers will follow the strict conditions of the original performance at the Royal Academy.

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The Guardian called the retrospective "terrifying and vital", with Adrian Searle writing that 76-year-old Abramović is "brave and extreme... an artist you'd want on your side in a battle".

But The Telegraph's Ian Sooke was damning in his two-star review, writing that "only the barest bones of her former talent remain".

Of the nude entrance, he said: "Is there a frisson? Who can say? I was too preoccupied with not stamping on their toes."

The Times' Laura Freeman described a similar experience: "I squeezed through, sucking in my stomach, trying not to tread on anyone's toes or brush against anything."

The exhibition is the first at the Royal Academy of Arts dedicated to a woman, and it's also its first performance art exhibition. It opens on 23 September.