Posts Tagged ‘Marina Abramović’

Marina Abramovic graces the cover of Slavic Elle this January.  The artist, who had never given fashion much thought, credits her discovery of the self-expressive medium to the Great Wall of China.  Kiša Lala of Spread Magazine reports:

“I was never interested in fashion until after I walked the Chinese Wall.” she said. “Before then, I felt like I couldn’t dress up, no lipstick, no nail polish.” Abramovic had walked the Great Wall of China in 1988 with her then partner, collaborator the German artist Uwe Laysiepen, (“Ulay”) who she had been with then for 12 years. They had started walking towards each other from opposite ends of the wall, originally intending to marry when they met in the middle, but instead, after three months of walking, when they finally reached one another, the journey was to commemorate the breakup of their grand love affair.

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Marina Abramović. Portrait with Flowers. 2009. Black-and-white gelatin silver print; photo: Marco Anelli. © 2010 Marina Abramović. Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, via MoMA

Marina Abramović has tested the limits of performance art by testing the physical and psychological limits of the human body. Acting as the primary object of her pieces, she has offered up her own body – her health, her safety, even her life – in the interest of innovative performance. Perhaps the most infamous piece was Rhythm 0, performed in 1974 in a Naples gallery. For this piece Abramović stood, passively, in front of an audience and allowed them to use, or inflict, on her any of 72 objects in whatever manner they chose. Some of the objects were benign and some were deadly. The most malignant of those included an axe, a saw, and a loaded gun. By the end of the 6-hour long piece, Abramović had been cut, undressed, and had the gun pointed to her head. In reflection, the artist had this to say: “The experience I learned was that…if you leave decisions to the public, you can be killed.” In her latest piece entitled “The Artist is Present”, on view now at MoMA, Marina Abramović tests the limits of her sanity. Seven days a week, during gallery hours, Abramović will sit silently and motionlessly at a table and stare into the eyes of whichever museum-goer sits at the opposite end of the table. She will do this every day for the next three months until her exhibit closes on May 31st.

For more information, visit the MoMA website or view the live video feed during museum hours.


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