6 Marina Abramović Performances That Showcase Her Incredible Strength

Known because the “grandmother of performance art,” Marina Abramović is a dwelling legend with a profession that spans greater than 60 years. When she first emerged within the early ’70s, she modified the notion of efficiency artwork and invited individuals to query what is taken into account artwork. The Serbian American artist thinks of the human physique because the “point of departure for any spiritual development.” Through her controversial experiments, she usually endures harmful and intense bodily ordeals with a view to discover a variety of totally different themes, together with the thoughts, human tradition, purity, and management.

Scroll all the way down to discover a few of the most impactful performances of this pioneering grasp efficiency artist.

Discover 6 Marina Abramović performances that proceed to fascinate the world.


Rhythm 0, 1974

Arguably a very powerful efficiency of her profession, Rhythm 0 gave Abramović celeb standing within the artwork world. The efficiency passed off in Naples in 1994. Abramović stood in a room with 72 objects on a desk and an outline studying, “I am the object,” and, “During this period I take full responsibility.” She invited spectators to make use of any of the objects on her physique in any means they desired, fully giving up management. These included innocent gadgets such a rose, feather, fragrance, honey, and grapes, in addition to dangerous utensils similar to scissors, a scalpel, nails, a metallic bar, and a gun loaded with one bullet. The efficiency lasted 6 hours, throughout which the viewers members grew disturbingly increasingly aggressive. Abramović described it: “What I learned was that…if you leave it up to the audience, they can kill you.”

Rhythm 0 is a part of the Rhythm collection, the place Abramović confronted bodily ache in a variety of totally different performances.


Rhythm 5, 1974

Photo: Rhythm 5, 1974 WikiArt (Fair Use)

One of the primary profound performances of Abramović’s profession, Rhythm 5 explores the bodily and psychological limits of the human physique. The artist risked her personal life for her artwork in an excessive efficiency the place she nearly suffocated. For Rhythm 5, Abramović used a big petroleum-drenched star, which the artist lit on hearth. After chopping her personal nails and hair and dropping them into the hearth, she laid down throughout the burning star. The harmful efficiency solely ended as soon as viewers members determined to tug her out to security.

“Lying down, I fail to notice that the flames have used up all the oxygen,” the artist remembers. “I lose consciousness. The viewers do not notice, because I am supine. When a flame touches my leg and I still show no reaction, two viewers come into the star and carry me out.”


Rest Energy, 1980

Abramović met Ulay (Frank Uwe Laysiepen) in Amsterdam in 1975, and the legendary couple lived collectively for 12 years. They made pioneering work as a duo, the place they explored their love for each other and the division between thoughts and physique.

For Rest Energy in 1980, Abramović and Ulay stood in a gallery, going through one another whereas utilizing a bow and arrow held by the load of their very own our bodies. While Abramovic pulled again on the bow, Ulay held the arrow, pointed instantly at her coronary heart. The piece was an exploration of rigidity, stability, and belief. Rest Energy solely lasted 4 minutes and 10 seconds lengthy, but it surely was an intense efficiency that exposed the fragility of life.


The Lovers, 1988

Abramović and Ulay’s relationship deteriorated, and in 1988—after a number of years of battle—they marked the tip of their relationship with a religious journey by strolling throughout the Great Wall of China. Their authentic plan was to fulfill within the center and get married there, but it surely didn’t end up that means. During the eight years of planning the efficiency, they grew additional aside, however they didn’t wish to cancel the monumental journey.

They each began at reverse ends and walked 5,995 kilometers (3,725 miles) in direction of one another. They lastly met on June 17, 1988–90 days after they began—and stated goodbye. Both traveled with translators; and whereas Abramović barely spoke to hers, Ulay turned near his. When the artists met, he had a confession to make. “He told me his translator was pregnant with his child,” Abramović reveals. “He asked me what to do. I told him he should marry her.” The couple didn’t communicate for 20 years, however have been reunited in 2010 when Ulay stunned Abramović by turning as much as her 2010 efficiency, The Artist Is Present.


The House with the Ocean View, 2002

Challenging, endurance works have lengthy been a big facet of Abramović’s profession, and The House with the Ocean View is not any exception. For this piece, the artist spent 12 days within the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York, contained inside three “rooms” constructed six ft off the bottom. She didn’t eat, write, or communicate throughout all the time. Instead, she solely slept, drank water, urinated, showered, and appeared out on the viewers every day. She might stroll between every room, however the stairs main down from them had rungs product of butcher knives.

“The idea of the work was an experiment,” reveals Abramović. “If I purify myself without eating for 12 days, any kind of food, just drinking pure water, and being in the present moment, here and now, in the three units on the wall, which represent my house, like the bathroom, the living room, and sleeping room, where the ladder coming down to the space are made from the knives, so you never can leave.” She continues, “That kind of rigorous way of living and purification would do something to change the environment and to change the attitude of people coming to see me. If they will just come and stay and forget about the time.”


The Artist Is Present, 2010

Marina Abramović

Photo: Marina Abramovic performing “Artist is Present” on the MoMA in May 2010. Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Perhaps her most well-known work, The Artist Is Present explores human endurance and emotion. The highly effective efficiency passed off within the Museum of Modern Art in New York over a interval of two and a half months. Abramović sat at a desk each single day, inviting viewers to take the other chair and have interaction in a silent dialog in entrance of a dwell viewers. As Abramović stared into the eyes of every participant, they skilled a spread of reactions. According to Abramović, the intention of the piece is to display “this enormous need of humans to actually have contact.”

The spotlight of the piece was when Ulay arrived unexpectedly to participate within the efficiency. He sat reverse Abramović and waited for her to open her eyes. When they checked out one another, Abramović appeared shocked at first after which smiled. Her eyes crammed with tears as he shook his head, clearly each speaking intense emotion with out a single phrase. At the tip of their temporary encounter, Abramović prolonged her palms throughout the desk in direction of Ulay, who held them and leaned ahead to say a couple of personal phrases. The viewers broke out into applause, then Ulay left and one other viewer arrived. Abramović is captured taking a couple of deep breaths with a view to recompose herself and keep on with the efficiency.

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