MARINA ABRAMOVIC QUOTES

Serbian-born artist (1946- )

Marina Abramovic quote

Your ego can become an obstacle to your work. If you start believing in your greatness, it is the death of your creativity.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, The Economist, Sep. 15, 2010

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Tags: creativity


I hate repetition. Even when I am home and have to buy milk, I go a different way each time to avoid having a habit of anything. Habits are really bad. So to me it is really important to live in what I call the spaces in-between. Bus stations, trains, taxis or waiting rooms in airports are the best places because you are open to destiny, you are open to everything and anything can happen.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, "Marina Abramovic Makes Sundance Shut Up", Interview Magazine

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Tags: habit


It was a little crazy. I realised then that the public can kill you. If you give them total freedom, they will become frenzied enough to kill you.... A man pressed the gun hard against my temple. I could feel his intent. And I heard the women telling the men what to do. The worst was the one man who was there always, just breathing. This, for me, was the most frightening thing. After the performance, I have one streak of white hair on my head. I cannot get rid of the feeling of fear for a long time. Because of this performance, I know where to draw the line so as not to put myself at such risk.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, The Guardian, Oct. 2, 2010

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If you're a woman, it's almost impossible to establish a relationship. You're too much for everybody. It's too much. The woman always has to play this role of being fragile and dependent. And if you're not, they're fascinated by you, but only for a little while. And then they want to change you and crush you. And then they leave.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, The Guardian, May 12, 2014

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Tags: women, relationships


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.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, The Economist, Sep. 15, 2010

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Tags: artists, society


Immaterial art is the strongest because there's no obstacle; there's just energy, and I believe in energy.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, "Once Upon a Time", Harper's Bazaar, Feb. 7, 2012

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Tags: art


I believe stories are very important to all performances. The life story of the performer shapes their work, and the life stories of the audience alter how they receive the work, what they read into the performer.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, Huffington Post, Aug. 23, 2013

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Ideas can come anytime, anywhere, while I am making this gazpacho or going to the bathroom. I am only interested in the ideas that become obsessive and make me feel uneasy. The ideas that I'm afraid of.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, The Economist, Sep. 15, 2010

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Tags: ideas


I realise the power of art that does not hang on the walls of galleries.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, The Guardian, Oct. 2, 2010

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Tags: art


I hate studio. For me, studio is a trap to overproduce and repeat yourself. It is a habit that leads to art pollution.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, The Economist, Sep. 15, 2010

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Tags: art


Art should have political, spiritual, and surprising elements. It should try to find new language of communicating in order to give awareness to the public. Then every society can use the layer it needs at the moment. If one is interested in the political, they can take that. If the next one needs spiritual, it can be found in the same work. So if you just did one level, for example only political, it's like an old newspaper, you read it today and tomorrow it's old news. The art dies. Art with this kind of complexity has many lives where many societies can take something different at different times. It can live for centuries, otherwise who cares?

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, "Marina Abramovic Makes Sundance Shut Up", Interview Magazine

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Tags: art


If you learn to be a psychoanalyst, and you're working as a psychoanalyst, your job is in that context. 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. And my context is art.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, "Marina Abramovic Makes Sundance Shut Up", Interview Magazine

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Tags: art


There's nothing more tragic than artists from the 70s still doing art from the 70s.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, The Guardian, May 12, 2014

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Tags: artists, art


When you're 50, the best thing to do is dance the Argentinean tango.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, "Marina Abramovic Makes Sundance Shut Up", Interview Magazine

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Tags: dance


The hardest thing is to do something which is close to nothing because it is demanding all of you.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, Here/Elsewhere, Jun. 26, 2012

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Tags: simplicity


After my performance The Artist is Present (2010) at MoMA in New York, many scientists became interested in why so many people who sat across from me began to cry. I was incredibly moved by this experience also, and was very curious to know what happens in our brains when we spend time not talking, just looking at one another. So I have done a number of projects now with neuroscientists that include a re-staging of The Artist is Present with me and the audience wearing electrode caps to monitor what is happening. What they have found is that there is an incredible amount of activity that happens when you take the time to really look at another human being without any verbal exchange. The scientists are now using all of this data from these experiments to try to understand more about non-verbal communication between human beings.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, Huffington Post, Aug. 23, 2013

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Tags: science


Don't even ask me why. I do not know, I have no answer to this insane behaviour.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, The Guardian, Oct. 2, 2010

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If we go for the easy way, then we never change.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, "Once Upon a Time", Harper's Bazaar, Feb. 7, 2012

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Tags: change


From a very early time, I understood that I only learn from things I don't like. If you do things you like, you just do the same shit. You always fall in love with the wrong guy. Because there's no change. It's so easy to do things you like. But then, the thing is, when you're afraid of something, face it, go for it. You become a better human being.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, The Guardian, May 12, 2014

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Tags: growth, change


Theatre is fake ... The knife is not real, the blood is not real, and the emotions are not real. Performance is just the opposite: the knife is real, the blood is real, and the emotions are real.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, The Guardian, Oct. 2, 2010

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Tags: theatre