Marina Abramović


Few weeks ago I came across this video:

“Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle.  At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing it and this is what happened.”

I was fascinated by the video and the artist – Marina Abramovic. This was not an art form I knew. I always associated art with paintings and related stuff but not with humans using their body as a medium. I spent a lot of time reading up on the internet about her.I was fascinated by her relationship with Ulay. I tried to understand her, get into her mind. She has a lot of self harm in her work. How is that art? What motivated her to cause more pain to herself?

 Rhythm 0 captivated me a lot. I wish a complete video footage of that work existed.

As I dug more, I understood, irrespective of how good she was as an artist, there was this underlying pain that traumatized her and she used physical pain to get over her emotional or mental pain.

And the bubble of beautiful love story between her and Ulay burst too after watching her interview. The relationship ended when Marina found out that Ulay had an affair when they were dating. When they met on the Great Wall of China Ulay told Marina that this girl was pregnant. Clearly, the entire situation hurt her a lot and Marina had been trying for a /wanted a baby. Ulay claims she also was cheating on him at the same time. So, it was not the romantic sweet story people were telling link. This goes on to show how so many things can be taken out of context and given a completely new twist.

Here is one of her interviews – http://bombsite.com/issues/84/articles/2561

I still think she is a fascinating artist but is deeply troubled, so much so that I feel sad when I think of it. A beautiful woman who has not made peace with her or her life and is looking for answers. But then, so aren’t we all?

2 thoughts on “Marina Abramović

  1. This video always reminds me of lines from Fountainhead:

    “There’s nothing as significant as a human face. Nor
    as eloquent. We can never really know another person, except by our first glance
    at him. Because, in that glance, we know everything.”

    followed by

    “You betray yourself
    by the manner in which you react to a certain face. To a certain kind of
    face….”

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