"I think we are in most dangerous moment of human civilization right now. The only way to survive is to change our consciousness." Marina Abramovic reflects on how she sees the World.
Marina Abramovic (b November 30, 1946) is a Yugoslavia-born performance artist. Her work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. Active for over five decades, Abramovic has been described as the "grandmother of performance art.
Marina Abramovic was born in Belgrade, Ex-Yugoslavia, to partisan parents, who met during WWII and were national heroes under Marshal Tito's regime. Raised in her childhood primarily by her orthodox grandmother, religion and revolution impacted profoundly on her early life and continue to permeate her artistic practice. In Rhythm 5 (1974/2011) she sets fire to a communist star that can also be read as a pentagram when inverted. The video installation The Hero (2001) is a ritualistic elegy for her father.
Abramovic’s works seek the core of concepts such as loss, memory, being, pain, endurance and trust. Her work is a matter of life and death – questions about existence and art are brought to a head in ways that may both provoke and move us. Rarely has anyone explored the physical and mental pain thresholds as she does.
Marina 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, Abramovic 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.
In 2005, Abramovic presented Balkan Erotic Epic at the Pirelli Foundation in Milan, Italy and at Sean Kelly in New York. That same year, she held a series of performances entitled Seven Easy Pieces at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. She was honored for Seven Easy Pieces by the Guggenheim at their International Gala in 2006 and by the AICA-USA, which awarded her the Best Exhibition of Time Based Art designation in 2007. She was the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Artist is Present, in 2010; the following year, the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow, Russia also presented a major retrospective of Abramovic's oeuvre. 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 Abramovic 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 lives and works in New York.
Marina Abramovic | filmed by Out of Sync | Stockholm Feb 2017
Interview | Jesper Bundgaard
Camera and edit | Per Henriksen
Producer | Out of Sync
© Out of Sync 2017