Marina Abramović's lecture was on the topic of performance art, which is particularly fitting, as she describes herself as the "grandmother of performance art." Since the 70's, she's been paving the way for artists to come, exploring the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind.
I typically don't have much of an attention span for videos, but Marina's performances are so mesmerizing, I could watch them over and over. They're so simple, yet so very profound. My favorites are those she did with her former partner/lover/collaborator, Ulay.
After hearing Marina Abramović speak, I feel as thoguh I've been much more attuned to existing elements of performance in my own work, as well as opportunities to come. As I think about the idea of the "object" in the things I create, I am challenged by Marina's implementation of the artist as object. She is her work.
She opened her lecture with a reading of her own "artist's manifesto," which included many phrases including but not limited to... (in no particular order)
- an artist must not make himself an idol
- an artist must not fall in love with another artist
- an artist must be erotic
- an artist must suffer