In this very special BONUS EPISODE of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most renowned artists alive today, Marina Abramović.
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The “grandmother” of Performance Art, Marina Abramovic has been instrumental in pioneering the genre as a visual art form for the last five decades – a genre defined by risk taking; being present; a state of mind; emptying yourself; and connecting the energies with the surrounding public.
Born in Belgrade, the capital of Yugoslavia in 1946, to communist hero parents, Marina Abramović experienced a strict upbringing. Until the age of 29, she was under a curfew of 10 o’clock – resulting in the artist running away a few months later.
Since the beginning of her career in the 1970s, Marina Abramović has stretched the limits of the body and mind as both object and subject. Early works include Rhythm 0 (1974), where she became an object of experimentation for the audience – laying out 72 objects, including a pistol, and stating they could be used on her as desired; or Rhythm 5 (1974), where she lay in the centre of a burning five-point star. She has withstood pain, exhaustion, and danger in her quest for emotional and spiritual transformation.
Never slowing down, in 1997 she won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for a work that commented on war in Yugoslavia, and in 2010, she took over MoMA for The Artist is Present, where she sat motionless in a chair for eight hours a day – the show broke records, attracting 850,000 visitors.
In 2012, she founded the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI), a non-profit foundation for performance art, and has since exhibited at the world’s most prestigious institutions, earning her a global following. And in 2023, she will be the first woman to have a solo exhibition in the main galleries of the Royal Academy of Arts, London.
TODAY Marina Abramović launches The Hero 25FPS – @artistispresent / NFT.CIRCA.ART
For her first performance launching today on the blockchain, Marina Abramović revisits one of her most personal and autobiographical works ‘The Hero (2001)’ to present in collaboration with The Cultural Institute of Radical Contemporary Art (CIRCA) this digital exploration of time, immateriality and audience participation. Filmed at 25 frames per second, never before seen footage has been separated into 6,500 unique frames to create The Hero 25FPS, a genesis NFT collection by the warrior of performance art.
A call for today’s new heroes! Upon completion of THE HERO 25FPS, Marina Abramović, @nadyariot (Pussy Riot) and CIRCA will award a series of Hero Grants to people working within Web3 who demonstrate a desire to make the world a better place.
Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic
Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
Music by Ben Wetherfield