Trust ⚬ Vulnerability ⚬ Connection – Marina Abramovic

 

Marina Abramovic is a New York-based Serbian performance artist who began her career in the early 1970s. Active for over four decades, her work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind.

Towards the late 1950s, as abstract art began to lose impetus, many artists across the world began to embrace performance art. Performance had been a feature of avant-garde art since around 1910, but Marina Abramović’s work is typical of the aims of the new generation in her eagerness to avoid traditional, object-based art materials, such as paint and canvas, and to cut down the distance between the artist and the audience by making her own body the medium.

    

Born under Yugoslavia’s repressive Communist dictatorship, and raised by parents closely tied to the regime,  Abramović’s dramatic and dangerous performances often seem like cathartic responses to these early experiences of power. She has produced a quantity of sculpture, but she remains best known for performance, and she remains one of only a handful of performance artists of her generation who have continued to perform late in their career.


Rhythm 0
 (1974) was a six-hour work of performance art created by Marina in Studio Morra, Naples. The work involved Abramović standing still while the audience was invited to do to her whatever they wished, using one of 72 objects she had placed on a table. These included a rose, feather, perfume, honey, bread, grapes, wine, scissors, a scalpel, nails, a metal bar, and a gun loaded with one bullet


In 2010, Abramovic had her first major U.S. retrospective and simultaneously performed for 716 hours in “The Artist is Present” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. During this performance, Abramovic engaged in mutual gaze with more than one thousand strangers over the course of three months. Over 750,000 visitors came to see “The Artist Is Present” and Abramovic was inspired by the general public’s desire to engage with immaterial works.

During the performance at MoMA, many celebrities came to look into Marina’s eyes, including Bjork and Jay Z. Just like all the other people, they couldn’t hide their vulnerability as they gazed into the inner world of an incredible artist.



Marina and Ulay, her lifelong partner in Art. Their reunion after being separated on Great Wall Of China.

Marina’s last performance inspired her to create her own institute – MAI.

MAI explores, supports, and presents performance. MAI encourages collaboration between the arts, science, and the humanities. MAI will serve as the legacy of Marina Abramovic.

Currently, MAI functions as a traveling Institute, partnering with venues and artists presenting workshops and collaborative projects. The Institute has taken complete form to date in São Paulo (2015) and Athens (2016), and has presented numerous iterations of the Method in locations including Sydney, Buenos Aires, Basel, and Toronto.

The Abramovic Method is a public participatory event joining people in a communal experience to connect with oneself and with each other. Inside this non-discriminatory and non-hierarchical space, the public participates in a number of exercises and observes others as they participate.

 Author: Nutsa Chubinidze