Marina Abramovic

(Marina Abramović)

Marina Abramovic
Marina Abramovic
  • Born: November 30, 1946
  • Nationality: Serbian
  • Profession: Artist









Quote Topics Cited
A powerful performance will transform everyone in the room.
All my inspiration comes from life. That's how it never stops, in a way. Life
Americans don't like European movies. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
An artist has to look at the future, to see what we can do better. Future
An artist should not fall in love with another artist. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Artists can do whatever they want!
Artists should never think of themselves as an idol. Fame is a side effect of one's work. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Because of technology, we don't develop telepathy. We don't use telepathy, but use, you know, the mobile phones. Why? Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Being an artist is not easy - I have always said that to the students I have taught over the years. It's a huge sacrifice.
Cancer is an emotional disease.
Even now, I have traces of the good little girl. When I am not performing, for instance, I am really very quiet and ordinary.
Every party is the same, too many people, too little food, and you have to wait around. I'm extremely bored with parties. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
First of all, to do performance art, you really have to give 100 percent. I only know that I have to give 100 percent and then what happens, happens. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
For me, performance is a holy ground. When I perform, I really step into a different state of consciousness.
For me, the most difficult piece is the one I'm about to make.
From the moment you are born, you could die. I think as an artist it is important to meditate on that.
From the very early stage when I started doing performance art in the '70s, the general attitude - not just me, but also my colleagues - was that there should not be any documentation, that the performance itself is artwork and there should be no documentation. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Happiness comes from the full understanding of your own being. Happiness & Unhappiness
Happiness is such a good state, it doesn't need to be creative. You're not creative from happiness, you're just happy. You're creative when you're miserable and depressed. You find the key to transform things. Happiness does not need to transform. Happiness & Unhappiness
I am not a therapist. I am not a spiritual leader. These elements are in the art: it is therapeutic, spiritual, social and political - everything. It has many layers. But art has to have many layers. If it doesn't, then forget it. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
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. Religion & God
I am only interested in the ideas that become obsessive and make me feel uneasy. The ideas that I'm afraid of.
I am very clear that I am not a feminist. It puts you into a category and I don't like that.
I believe so much in the power of performance I don't want to convince people. I want them to experience it and come away convinced on their own. Power
I believe that life is shorter; that is why we have to make experience longer. Life
I believe the artist has an obligation to society. Society
I didn't get paid for performances most of my life. If I did, I would be billionaire now, and I'm not. Life
I don't do husbands. I don't do children.
I don't know anything about the afterlife because I haven't been there yet.
I had a very difficult relationship with my mother. She used to wake me up in the middle of the night if I wasn't sleeping straight and was messing up the sheets. Now when I stay in hotels I sleep so straight they don't even think I've used the bed.
I hate kitchens. I don't understand these enormous American kitchens that take up half the living room and then they just order pizza.
I hate studio. For me, studio is a trap to overproduce and repeat yourself. It is a habit that leads to art pollution. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
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.
I really don't like art where you need to know so much theory to understand. If the theory is removed, it doesn't do anything. That means that this work is an illustration of theory, and I don't believe in the power of the work itself. Power ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I really think there's no difference between an art piece made by a man and one made by a woman. Is it a good art piece or a bad art piece? Of course, if you're female, you're maybe dealing with different issues. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I test the limits of myself in order to transform myself, but I also take the energy from the audience and transform it.
I think 21st century should be art without objects. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I used to have a recurring dream where I was at a party in a country house, surrounded by the same people each evening. Everyone would be singing and dancing and after a while I came to know the people; though, of course, they never really existed.
I want to dominate the man's world.
I was friends with Susan Sontag the last four years of her life. She had this amazing charisma and so much energy, but she had a sad little funeral in Montparnasse in Paris. It was rainy. It was all wrong. And I was thinking, 'God, she loved life so much.' Life ;Religion & God
If you do performance and music, it's not performance as music. Music, Chants & Rapps
If you see a Renaissance body, this is completely ugly in this time. Everybody has to be skinny. But the Renaissance body with incredible flow of the meat everywhere, it was beauty. Time
If you're a baker, making bread, you're a baker. If you make the best bread in the world, you're not an artist, but if you bake the bread in the gallery, you're an artist. So the context makes the difference.
I'm interested in asking: 'What does feminine energy mean?' I don't have answers - I just have questions and interesting examples.
I'm interested in utopian communities of the past. Many of them didn't survive and I'm examining closely the reasons they failed.
In America, everyone's always hiding their age.
In every ancient culture, there are rituals to mortify the body as a way of understanding that the energy of the soul is indestructible.
In my work I have complete control, but about my life, I don't want to. Life ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
In real life, you just work for the ordinary self, but in the front of audience you become the superself. That's a completely different thing. Life ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
In theater, blood is ketchup; in performance, everything's real.
It's very important that young artists push boundaries, because sometimes you have this urge to do something - like the impulsive and dangerous urges I had as a child - and if you don't follow through with it you might miss out on a developmental experience.
Most of the time, the artists are not supposed to wear the fashion. It is always seen as a vanity. But I think I don't need to prove anything in my life. I can honestly say I love fashion and I can be many things at the same time. Life ;Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
My grandmother, when she looked at American movies, she said, 'They're all the same. In the first scene somebody shoots somebody and then everybody makes phone calls.' Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
My mother and father had a terrible marriage. They celebrated their wedding anniversary one year with their friends. Why did they celebrate? Maybe because they had lasted so many years without killing each other. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Families, Children & Parenting
Once you live in New York, you can't live anywhere else. Living in Paris is like going in slow motion. It's so bourgeois. I get so bored.
One of the most wonderful things for me is to watch somebody else perform, where I am the audience - I love this more than ever. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
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. Women ;Families, Children & Parenting
People have so much pain inside them that they're not even aware of.
People in New York never have time for anything. Time
People put so much effort into starting a relationship and so little effort into ending one.
Performance has to be mainstream art. This is what I'm fighting for. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Performance is there, and if you are not there in that moment it happened, it just stays in the memory. It's so immaterial and something this immaterial is very difficult to collect. Its difficult to buy, its how we can buy immaterial art. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
So many artists say they're not aware of audience. For me is unbelievable.
The big problem of our modern society is that we feel that we are separated from the nature. But it's just the opposite. We are interrelated and our DNA is the same. And only when human beings understand that, the nature will not be obstacle. Society ;Nature
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. Society
The hardest thing to do is something that is close to nothing.
The mind is crazy thing. To be focused is the most difficult thing.
The most revolutionary ideas are not sellable, but only mind-changing.
The only theatre I do is my own. Somehow, my life is the only life that I can play. Life
The public is in need of experiences that are not just voyeuristic. Our society is in a mess of losing its spiritual centre. Society
The world doesn't need an artist who shows reality as it is.
Theater is something that as a performance artist you have to hate.
Time is an illusion. Time only exists when we think about the past and the future. Time doesn't exist in the present here and now. Time ;Future
To control the breathing is to control the mind. With different patterns of breathing, you can fall in love, you can hate someone, you can feel the whole spectrum of feelings just by changing your breathing. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
To really change the way society thinks, you have to give your entire being to it until there's nothing left. Society
Today, our attention is less than the television advertisement. We're looking at six or seven problems constantly. We're living in the disturbed societies of cities. I think modern technology is one of the worst things human beings have invented. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
We always project into the future or reflect in the past, but we are so little in the present. Future
We are actually living in a million parallel realities every single minute.
We are used to cleaning the outside house, but the most important house to clean is yourself - your own house - which we never do.
We make such terrible mistakes with visual choices about beauty.
When I was 14, I thought I looked terrible. I wore these typical Slavic shoes with metal bottoms so you could always hear me coming and this really ugly princess skirt and blouse with the top button closed. I had a boy haircut, a baby face covered with pimples, and a really big nose.
When Lady Gaga says I am her inspiration, you reach kids between 12 and 18. Now I am like a brand - jeans, Coca-Cola.
When people ask me where I am from I never say, 'Serbia.' I always say, 'I come from a country that no longer exists.'
Why am I not feminist? Maybe because I come from a country where my mother ruled my life. I never felt in any way that I couldn't achieve what I want. Life
With classical ballet you are literally injuring yourself.
Woody Allen has a wonderful line: 'Today I'm a star. What will I be tomorrow? A black hole?' That's very important to know - that you have the moment, then you lose the moment. You have to see your chances, you have to take them, and you also have to see when you don't have chances to take.
You can't choreograph death, but you can choreograph your funeral. Death
You know how you feel somebody looking at you, and you turn, and somebody actually is? It's the same at an art gallery. You're looking at one portrait, turn around, and there is a work of art directly behind you. Because it's all energy. Every single thing has energy. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
You know I very much respect Yvonne Rainer, she is very important - in American dance, the entire development of modern dance, and creating a wonderful physical language. Respect
You know, art is very emotional business. But mostly it becomes not emotional, the fabric of commodity. It becomes business. It becomes so many different things. Because we forgot there was emotions involved. Business, Commerce & Finance ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
You know, everyone is always talking about plastic surgery, or the technology, what to do. I really think it's important to help yourself with the technology if you want to feel better, but I am absolutely against any kind of monstrous cuts of the body, lifting that is beyond recognition, this kind of stuff. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
You know, James Franco is one of the most interesting figures because he has no rules. He breaks all the borders.
You see, what is my purpose of performance artist is to stage certain difficulties and stage the fear the primordial fear of pain, of dying, all of which we have in our lives, and then stage them in front of audience and go through them and tell the audience, 'I'm your mirror; if I can do this in my life, you can do it in yours.' Life
Your ego can become an obstacle to your work. If you start believing in your greatness, it is the death of your creativity. Death ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force