WK 8 – Artist of the Week – Marina Abramovic

marina abramovic first picture

About the Artist

Marina Abramovic is a Yugoslav-American performance artist born in 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. She first got more involved with art when she started studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade in the 1970s. For her art mediums, she is considered a pioneer in the performance arts community and she has had 50 works completed in a time spanning 4 decades incorporating works involving photography, interventions and sound pieces, solo performances, video works and collaborative performances. For her in particular, the body has always been a subject and medium prevalent in all her art works, where she would explore the physical and mental limits of her being, where she would absorb pain, exhaustion and danger to obtain an emotional and spiritual transformation.

abramovic 2  abramovic 1

Formal Analysis

Above is one of her first art pieces titled “Rhythm 0” created in 1974. The art piece included Abramovic herself standing before the crowd where she allowed the participants to use any of the 72 objects she had displayed on a table before the audience and allowed them to use them on any way on her body. Such items included clothes, bras, scarfs, fancy hats, make-up, and even a loaded gun. The participants would take these items and did as they pleased to Abramovic. Participants would sometimes dress her up, put make-up on her and make her look pretty. But others had negative intentions where some would write on her with markers or even just stripped her half naked. Some would even try to harm her and point the loaded gun at her while others would try and protect her. Below is a picture of a man analyzing and choosing one of the items on display and at the audience’s disposal.

abramovic 3

Content Analysis

I really like this art piece and how Abramovic tried to obtain an emotional and spiritual transformation. Like noted before, some participants would try and dress her up, displaying and releasing positive energy. But others had negative intent, where people stripped her nude or threatened her with a gun pointed at her. There was a dynamic exchange of energy between the performer and the collaborators, and throughout all of this she would endure all the pain and exhaustion. Also, whats important about this piece is how it transforms the observers into collaborators, where they become part of the message behind this art work.abra last pic

My Thesis/ Experience

I really like Marina Abramovic, and I also like her collaborative art pieces and interventions. I feel a lot of people should look at “Rhythm 0” and understand the idea and process of what Abramovic is trying to argue and display. I really like how her art piece exemplifies what it means to go through pain and exhaustion, where she further argues that through these what may seem very painful, hurtful and frightening situations one may finally find a spiritual and emotional transformation. It only fair to say that life isn’t always nice and their may be occasional disasters, tragedies, genocides and so on. But through these awful and terrible events, it is only natural for humans to perservere, learn from their mistakes and, perhaps, undergo a spiritual and emotional transformation.

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