What is a masterpiece? Renowned artist Marina Abramovic discusses her understanding of a masterpiece. "It very important for work of art to be multi-dimensional, to have many meanings, so every society can take part. If only one-dimensional it dies very soon".
Marina Abramovic (b 1946) is a Serbian performance artist based in New York. Her work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. Active for over three decades, Abramovic has been described as the "grandmother of performance art." She pioneered a new notion of identity by bringing in the participation of observers, focusing on "confronting pain, blood, and physical limits of the body."
Since the beginning of her career in the early 1970s when she attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Abramovic has pioneered the use of performance as a visual art form. The body has been both her subject and medium. Exploring the physical and mental limits of her being, she has withstood pain, exhaustion and danger in the quest for emotional and spiritual transformation. As a vital member of the generation of pioneering performance artists that includes Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci and Chris Burden, Abramovic created some of the most historic early performance pieces and continues to make important durational works.
Abramovic has presented her work with performances, sound, photography, video and sculpture in solo exhibitions at major institutions in the U.S. and Europe. Her work has also been included in many large-scale international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (1976 and 1997) and Documenta VI, VII and IX, Kassel, Germany (1977, 1982 and 1992). In 1998, the exhibition Artist Body - Public Body toured extensively, including stops at Kunstmuseum and Grosse Halle, Bern, Switzerland and La Gallera, Valencia, Spain. In 2004, Abramović exhibited at the Whitney Biennial in New York and had a significant solo show, The Star, at the Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan and the Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, Japan.
Abramovic has taught and lectured extensively in Europe and America. In 1994, she became Professor for Performance Art at the Hochschule für Bildende Künst in Braunschweig, where she taught for seven years. In 2004, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Art Institute in Chicago, The University of Plymouth and Willams College.
She was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale for her extraordinary video installation/performance piece Balkan Baroque and, in 2003, received the New Media Bessie award for The House with the Ocean View‚ a 12-day performance at Sean Kelly Gallery.
Abramovic's work is included in numerous major public and private collections worldwide.
In 2011, Abramovic participated in visionary director Robert Wilson's, The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, the critically acclaimed re-imagination of Abramovic's biography, which continues to tour internationally. The feature-length documentary, Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present, premiered in January 2012 at the Sundance Film Festival and has since received widespread critical acclaim. In 2015, Abramovic was the subject of a major solo exhibition at the Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania, entitled Private Archaeology. In conjunction with her solo exhibition at MONA, Abramovic conducted a 12-day residency program, through Kaldor Public Art Projects in Sydney, Australia.
Abramovic is currently developing the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI) in Hudson, New York, an interdisciplinary performance and education center dedicated to the presentation and preservation of long durational work and the fostering of collaborations between art, science, technology and spirituality.
Marina Abramovic | filmed by Out of Sync | Venice May 2015
Interview | Jesper Bundgaard
Camera and edit | Per Henriksen
Producer | Out of Sync
© Out of Sync 2016