On art and life

Since the early 1970s, Marina Abramović has explored the relationship between performer and audience, the interaction between people, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. She said: ‘the experience I learned was that … if you leave decision to the public, you can be killed… I felt really violated: they cut my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the public. Everyone ran away, escaping an actual confrontation’ about her art performance Rhythm O, an experiment to explore the relationship between the artist and the public, which brought to my mind the Stanford prison experiment, by Phillip Zimbardo, which demonstrated that when people are empowered by authority or lack of external laws and rules, there is the possibility of their becoming aggressive and outright abusive to those without power.

‘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’ Marina Abramovic

‘It is incredible how fear is built into you, by your parents and others surrounding you. You’re so innocent in the beginning; you don’t know’ Marina Abramović: Walk Through Walls: Becoming Marina Abramovic

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