Marina Abramovic: “For an Artist the Worst is the Best”

Marina Abramović is a Serbian artist specialized in performances who was born on November 30, 1946, in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia. She was raised under strict socialist principles, however, she was more influenced by her religious grandmother, who practiced various rituals, and thus showed rebellion against the system at the time. The work of Marina Abramović, in addition to having achieved high prices in the contemporary art market, is very extensive and renown around the world.

Controversial Performances

Marina began her career with a series of visceral performances in which she used her own body as an object and as a medium. A self-described “Godmother of performance art”, specializes in performances that dramatically test the endurance and the limitations of her own body and mind. For instance, during the performance Rhythm 10 (1973) she methodically stabbed the spaces between the fingers of her hand with a knife, while bleeding at the same time. In the Rhythm 5 action performed in April in 1973, she lit a fire around the five-pointed star and lay down in its center. During this performance, she almost suffocated, and it took the audience a long time to realize that Marina was not acting trance, but was actually left unconscious. In Rhythm 0 (1974) she wanted to face death, so she stood motionless for six hours in a room containing 72 other objects, from a rose to a loaded gun, suggesting to the audience that they could use it on her, however they wished. She also attracted the attention of the audience with the gallery installation House with a View of the Ocean (2002) – during which she lived in the gallery for 12 days, allowing the audience to observe her everyday life. Such performances were controversial not only because of the danger she put herself and the audience into, but also because of her occasional nudity that became a regular element in her work.

Relationship Between Art and Artist

Marina offers the audience works that explore the relationship between artists and performances, as she uses her own body to convey her ideas: “I understood that I could make art with everything, and the most important thing is the concept, which was the beginning of my performance art. And the first time I put my body in front of an audience, I realized: this is my media. And the only way of expression is to perform. For an artist the worst is the best”. Marina and her former partner Ulay even turned their break up into an unforgettable performance: “In 1988, Ulay and Abramović began at opposite ends of the Great Wall of China, and trekked on foot for three months to meet somewhere at its center. It took eight years to secure permission from the Chinese government to embark on the journey. The original plan was to culminate the walk with a wedding — a celebration of love. Instead, the nearly 6,000-kilometer pilgrimage became one of the most elaborate uncouplings documented in modern history”. According to Marina, an artist must be ready to break the mold and take risks, because that´s the only way to be truly inspired, because real art is alive, present and often quickly forgotten.

The Artist is Present

In 2010, the MoMA Museum of Modern Art in New York held a large retrospective of Marina’s work called The Artist Is Present. During this exhibition, Marina sat motionless in silence for 763 hours and 30 minutes, while the visitors took turns in the chair opposite her without touching or talking to her. It was the largest performance exhibition in the history of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2016, Marina published the memoir Walk Through Walls, which is a vivid and powerful display of her life. Marina is an established performance artist all around the globe, however, funnily enough, Marina is more famous internationally than in Serbia, her home country. Nevertheless, in Asian countries, like Singapore, for example, international stars make up a big portion of the performance scene and people enjoy this type of entertainment. They also enjoy online entertainment, and that´s why websites such as betting sites in Singapore are becoming increasingly popular worldwide, especially since the pandemic outbreak. The main idea is to have fun online and not spend too much in the process, therefore there are some incredible bonuses you wouldn´t want to miss.

In 2013, the documentary about Marina Abramovic, called The Artist Is Present, directed by Matthew Akers, was released. It was nominated for Best Documentary at the Independent Spirit Awards 2013.

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