Performance Artist: Marina Abramovic

Have you ever imagined that how it would be to torture yourself, willingly? Sounds really peculiar, doesn’t it? Performance artists usually do it and Marina Abramovic –a stupendous performance artist; is one of those few artists. She has her own theories and a firm determination, which help her to control mind so that she can easily include herself into her own art.

Marina Abramovic & Ulay – Imponderabilia (1977)
Marina Abramovic & Ulay – Imponderabilia (1977)

Life History and Family Background:

Marina Abramovic is originally from Serbia and recently settled in America. Marina’s parents played an important role in the Second World War and after the war; they were declared as national heroes and got high positions in the new government. This is why Marina grew up with discipline being a powerful force in her life. Her family also believed in sacrifices, both in religion and communal-ism as well. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb before settling in USA, specifically NYC.

trabalho de Marina Abramovic
trabalho de Marina Abramovic

Why did she choose such a difficult field of art to work in? Her studies led her to the way of arts and her virtues from family, compelled her to perform those arts on herself only. And thus, she emerged as an outstanding performance artist.

Events and Performances:

Marina has organized many events and series to showcase her talent on the stage. When the question turns up about the difference between theater and performance art, she says that a performance artist should hate theater as it is not real at all, but the blood, pain and the emotions are all true in performance art.

marina abramovic with a visitor @ her performance art
marina abramovic with a visitor @ her performance art

She started her career in early 1970’s. And for the last four decades, she has been showing a dazzling work of art. The Rhythm Series was her first stage performance which fetched name and fame to her. The Russian game, petroleum drenched star etc. are some really famous events which were organized in this series.


Art: Marina Abramović: Rhythm 0

After marrying to Nesa Paripovic, she moved to Amsterdam where she joined Ulay, another popular performance artist. Both of them worked together to explore more about ego and artistic identity. They ended their relationship in a unique way by walking on the Great Wall of China from different ends. They started their walk from opposite ends and then met at the middle and said good-bye.

After this, Marina moved on and started performing alone. She performed Seven Easy Pieces in the Guggenheim museum in New York in 2005 and the most recent one, The Artist is Present which was held in MOMA, New York. In this performance at MOMA, many renowned personalities also participated and the show broke all the records. Marina sat at one side and the participants had to sit on the other side and they had to stare in Marina’s eyes silently. While doing it, many people broke down in front of her. Marina says that most of them had pain in their eyes and I was just acting as a mirror.


How does she perform all this? In answer to this question, she elaborates that it is just a control of mind and emotions. According to her, this work explores the relationship with the audience, the limits of the body and the possibilities of mind.

People may say that all this is scrap and just an obsession but Marina has no issues with it. She is so convinced with her style of performing art that she says that she will do it till end.

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