Friday, June 21, 2013

Marina Abramovic Quotes

1. The hardest thing is to do something which is close to nothing because it is demanding all of you.

2. I test the limits of myself in order to transform myself, but I also take the energy from the audience and transform it. It goes back to them in a different way. This is why people in the audience often cry or become angry or whatever. A powerful performance will transform everyone in the room.

3. To me the pain and the blood are merely means of artistic expression.

4. I am obsessive always, even as a child. On one side is this strict orthodox religion, on the other is communism, and I am this little girl pulled between the two. It makes me who I am. It turns me into the kind of person that Freud would have a field day with, for sure.

5. A bath is the only way to relax in this crazy city.

6. When people ask me where I am from, I never say Serbia. I always say I come from a country that no longer exists.

7. The brother of my grandfather was the patriarch of the Orthodox Church and revered as a saint. So everything in my childhood is about total sacrifice, whether to religion or to communism. This is what is engraved on me. This is why I have this insane willpower. My body is now beginning to be falling apart, but I will do it to the end. I don't care. With me it is about whatever it takes.

8. I gazed into the eyes of many people who were carrying such pain inside that I could immediately see it and feel it. I become a mirror for them of their own emotions. One big Hell's Angel with tattoos everywhere stared at me fiercely, but after 10 minutes was collapsing into tears and weeping like a baby.

9. I made a tape recording of a bridge collapsing and I wanted to play it suddenly and very loudly when people were walking over a big bridge in Belgrade. The council forbid it. Their imagination is tiny; mine is big. I want always to shake everything up.

10. Through performance, I found the possibility of establishing a dialogue with the audience through an exchange of energy, which tended to transform the energy itself. I could not produce a single work without the presence of the audience, because the audience gave me the energy to be able, through a specific action, to assimilate it and return it, to create a genuine field of energy.

11. I heard about Beuys later and then the others. I was incredibly naive and innocent. I mean, even when I am 23 and I have started with the blood and cutting, I still have to be back home by 10.30pm every night or my mother would be ringing the police to say I am missing.

12. The others in line grew angry and aggressive, but then they realized that the waiting was also part of the performance.

13. Even now, I have traces of the good little girl. When I am not performing, for instance, I am really very quiet and ordinary. I don't drink or smoke and I have never taken drugs. I am probably, the most boring person you could meet.

14. If we go for the easy way, then we never change.

15. It was an enormous amount of liquid he was carrying inside. I am almost certain he was a performance artist.

16. I burnt off my hair. In the morning, my grandmother see me and drop the breakfast tray on the floor and start to shriek like a cat who has seen the devil. Did it make her think twice about her calling? No. It made me angry that I had not completed the performance.

17. I started realizing I could use any material I want, fire, water, and the body. The moment when I started using the body, it was such an enormous satisfaction that I had and that I can communicate with the public that I could never do anything else. I could never go back to the seclusion of the studio and be protected by the space there. The only way of expression is to perform.

18. Oh, it's plain to me that this is something incredible. I give people a space to simply sit in silence and communicate with me deeply but non-verbally. I did almost nothing, but they take this religious experience from it. Art had lost that power, but for a while Moma was like Lourdes.

19. I don't believe in these performance revivals. They don't have the ring of truth about them.

20. I hate kitchens. I don't understand these enormous American kitchens that take up half the living room and then they just order pizza.

21. Madonna takes so much from art and performance and never mentions it; Gaga is more generous.

22. When I am performing a piece, anything that happens in that moment is part of the piece.

23. I didn't even know it was Isabella Rossellini. I kept thinking: "She looks familiar." I didn't even recognize Sharon Stone. I was in another zone."

24. When Riccardo and I met, I felt like we had the same tastes. I really love fashion, and he really loves art. For me, having Riccardo is like finding your identity.

25. We are always in the space in-between…all the spaces where you are not actually at home. You haven't arrived yet…This is where our mind is the most open. We are alert, we are sensitive, and destiny can happen. We do not have any barriers and we are vulnerable. Vulnerability is important. It means we are completely alive and this is an extremely important space. This is for me the space from which my work generates.

26. Physically, mentally, I have to prepare myself for a feat of endurance. I became a vegetarian, I did deep meditation, I cleansed myself. I train the body and the mind. I learn to eat certain foods so that I don't have to go to the toilet for seven hours. I learn to sleep in short bursts at night. This is very hard: sleep, wake, drink, pee, exercise, sleep, wake and on and on. So even the not-performing is intense.

27. I believe the highest form of art is music and then performance is the second highest because it's mostly immaterial. Immaterial art is the strongest because there's no obstacle (between viewer and performer); there's just energy, and I believe in energy.

28. I hate studio. For me, studio is a trap to overproduce and repeat yourself. It is a habit that leads to art pollution. Nothing new happens. You don't surprise yourself. You don't put yourself in situations to risk.

29. I had so much fear of blood, and the first thing I did was cut myself to see what happens.  That's the only way to rebuild yourself.

30. Ideas can come anytime, anywhere, while I am making this gazpacho or going to the bathroom. I am only interested in the ideas that become obsessive and make me feel uneasy. The ideas that I'm afraid of.

31. People ask why there are so few female artists who succeed. It's because women are not ready to sacrifice as much as men. Women want a man, they want a family, they want to have children, they want to be loved, and to be an artist. And they can't; it's impossible.

32. When you have so much pain, you think you will lose consciousness. If you say to yourself: "So what, lose consciousness," the pain goes away.

33. Artists should never think of themselves as an idol. Fame is a side effect of one's work. I've put 40 years into this. Some young artists who are 25 (and become famous) overdose and die, but my success came so slow. So it does not really affect my ego because ego is a huge obstacle in art. If you think you're great, then something is seriously wrong with you.

34. If it was just for my own self-realization, I would never have had this energy, but if I do it for the public, I can bring a higher motivation.

35. I hate people who steal your work…Get your own ideas. 

36. This larger-than-life thing is a dangerous state. Your ego can become an obstacle to your work. If you start believing in your greatness, it is the death of your creativity.

37. (on Lady Gaga) She openly says everything is influenced from art, and she's very generous. She came to MoMA, and we had an enormous amount of people watching who were 14 and 15 years old. So she created this situation where I got this new public.

38. It is a mental and physical construction in which the artist steps from low self to high self in front of the public or from the ordinary self to a different kind of zone and higher state of mind.

39. I'm just there, being in the present, which is very hard to do because your mind always escapes somewhere. But you have to train it not to go anywhere else.

40. Being an artist, especially in the '70s, you had to hate fashion because you'd never be taken seriously. And then that slowly started to change.

41. I'm always like: "Oh, my God, what am I going to wear?"

42. (on her friend Cindy Sherman) She is so fashionable; she always has the right thing. I love it.

43. I love fashion. In the 1970s, that made you a bad artist.

44. I just wanted it to be cozy because it was very cold there.

45. The public is in need of experiences that are not just voyeuristic. Our society is in a mess of losing its spiritual centre. The function of the artist in a disturbed society is to give awareness of the universe, to ask the right questions, and to elevate the mind.

46. In the performer's body, you don't care how you look. It doesn't matter if you're old, fat, beautiful, or ugly. It doesn't change anything. The only thing (that matters) is your charisma and how you express your idea.

47. I still don't have a complete image of what happened to me, but I am different in so many ways.

48. I notice if I'm too fat or if I'm too ugly or there's skin hanging or whatever. When my clothes start not fitting, I get really self-conscious about what I eat.

49. I never hang anything on the walls. There is never any art because I'm making art. I don't want to see it because then I'll never have a new idea. I try to start from the whiteness and manifest something after that.

50. Marco is the photographer, but I am the author of the work.

51. I wanted an image of the artist as survivor, looking into the future.

52. I estimate I have 10 years to establish my institute, to create my legacy and do all these things I want to do before I get too old to move.

53. Performance is about the true reality.

54. Art can help so much in society because we have lost our beliefs. There's no churches anymore, so we have to rebuild. I've always believed that why I'm here is for the big picture.

55. To be a performance artist, you have to hate theatre. Theatre is fake… The knife is not real, the blood is not real, and the emotions are not real. Performance is just the opposite: the knife is real, the blood is real, and the emotions are real.

56. The only theatre I do is my own. Somehow, my life is the only life that I can play.

57. I just want to create situations where people forget time.

58. I never saw so much pain. People are afraid to express their inner feelings, but when you go inside, you'll see it. People live in so much pain. I understand it.

What do you think of Marina Abramovic quotes?

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