Who Is Marina Abramovic?
The name has become more and more present as the weeks have recently gone by. The artist appeared in Jay Z’s new music video and Lady Gaga is a huge fan and even participated in a video showing the “Abramovic Method” in support of the Marina Abramovic Institute.
Don’t know what we’re talking about? Here are some hints:
A simple history:
Marina Abramovic is a performance artist whose art deals with the ideas of the limits of the body, the mind, the spirit and the relationship they all share. Having lived a very military lifestyle in Serbia, all of Abramovic’s early performances were done before 10 pm, as her mother insisted that she be home by then.
Her early pieces was a very graphic and provocative performances with Rhythms 10, 5, 2, and 0. Rhythm 0 in is memorable in particular as she sat still for 6 hours in front of a table with 72 objects and let the audience do whatever they wanted to her with them. She later collaborated with Ulay (another performance artist) in many projects that attempted to create and explore the idea of a non gendered existence and a their existence beyond man and woman, known as “the self”. Her collaboration ended with their final performance piece together as they each walked the Wall of China from one end and met in the middle.
Her later performances, and the ones that seem to inspire the new generation and renewed interest in her is her performance in MoMa “The Artist Is Present” where she sat perfectly still and people were encouraged to sit across from her. Some people got angry, some wept, and some proposed marriage.
Why is she still so captivating, even to a new audience?
Abramovic isn’t afraid of danger or to go to the extremes. She isn’t afraid to make her audience uncomfortable and everything that she does is well thought out beforehand. The fact that performances like hers can now be filmed and shared through YouTube make her even more dynamic and accessible to a much bigger audience. You can find clips of “The Artist is Present” on YouTube, there was a facebook group called “Sitting With Marina”. In a world that seems to love the new and unexpected, Abramovich has become more relevant than ever.