Where Marina Abramović Likes to Stay and What She Likes to Say About It

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Category Culture, Events, Lifestyle, People, Town
Date November 23 2023
Reading Time 3 min.

Where Marina Abramović Likes to Stay and What She Likes to Say About It

Recently Marina Abramović held a presentation for her latest art piece — a piece that allows anyone to take away a part of her life, mind and body. Yes, yes, now anyone can now bring home their very own Marina Abramović and spend an evening with her!

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This autumn, the renowned grandmother of performance artreleased a new book titled Nomadic Journeys and Spirit of Places, which is made up of her 40-year collection of memories, ideas and personal thoughts. The publication allowed for a new level of intimacy and understanding of the artist, whose work has been creating connections with others through inflicting pain and stress on her body in the name of art, and seems now to have continued in a new format.

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The presentation was held by the How To Academy at the Royal Geographical Society. The interviewer was Tim Marlow, a longtime friend of Abramovićs and director of London’s Design Museum. In a relaxed atmosphere, the audience the artists most curious fans followed the conversation about her new book and her memories.

©Vava Lotareva

Marina Abramovi
ć, youthful and energetic as ever despite having suffered a deadly disease that caused her to spend some time in a coma earlier this year, delivered a performance by simply being on stage. She recalled some hilarious stories from her youth. For example the time, when she was twenty nine and escaped form Yugoslavia for good so her strict mother, who couldnt find her daughter ended up going to the police to report her missing. The crowd burst into laughter upon hearing that the police told her mother that they have other, more important things do once they found out that the missing girl was twenty nine.

One of the pages of book contained a cut-out from Tito
s death announcement in a Yugoslavian newspaper. Abramović said ironically that she was horrified to find out about this. She said that she knew that nothing would ever be the same, adding that Tito went to USSR got payed, went to China got payed, went to the USA got payed, and we [Yugoslavians] had everything and never had to work!

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The other page contains a photo of Maria Callas, to whom the artist dedicated one of her recent works 7 Deaths of Maria Callas.She explained that her love for the iconic opera diva started as a child in her grandmothers kitchen, where she would have breakfast everyday while listening to Callss music. Abramović said that her obsession with Maria Callas only grew as she found out more about the singers biography. They both shared tyranny of their mothers and similar outlook on life and love.

7 Deaths of Maria Callas

Despite this lifelong relationship with Callas, the idea to make an operatic piece dedicate to hear come to Abramović after walking the Great Wall of China, during her trip to Brazil in 1998 while inside of a local gold mine. The project was initially called How to Dieand in it she wanted to explore the notion of death on stage in the light of all the wars and horrors that were happening in the world at the time through an opera piece that dives immediately into the finale. She admitted that everything to do with reality we refuse, but stage we love.

©Vava Lotareva

The book itself is a recollection of Abramovi
ć’s travels over the last forty years. She stayed in many hotels, which in the beginning of her journey were so cheap that the toilet paper was more expensive than the roomthere, and from each she saved stationary with her writings, drawings, photographs and collages. Through those, her journey can be followed from Tokyo to Charlotte Street, London to Morocco, Moscow and so on. Each page bursts with thought and character, creating a sense of Abramović’s real presence as one memory is replaced with another. Although it would be impossible to put the artists whole life in there, it still feels like a complete visual memoir of Abramović’s creative path.

©Vava Lotareva

The presentation ended with a brief Q&A session, during which members of the audience were able to ask the artist questions about anything. In her charismatic manner, Abramovi
ć responded to all of them and also invited everyone to join her at the Royal Academy of Arts on the 11th of December for a seven-minute silence to think to about the world and everything that has been happening recently. More information on this event will soon be available on the artists website.