Born in Belgrade in 1946, Marina Abramović is one of the most significant and internationally recognized artists. She is an undisputed protagonist in the most prestigious events, such as “Documenta” in Kassel and the Venice Biennale.
Marina Abramović’s career
She is a key figure in Body Art and one of the first performers. She is the “Grandmother of performance art”. Standing among pioneers of this methodology such as Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci, Chris Burden and Gina Pane.
After studying at the Belgrade Academy of Fine Arts (1965-72), Abramović began in the early 1970s to give life to her feverish performances. She began experimenting with the first sound environments and video installations.
In 1976 she moved to Amsterdam and began a fruitful collaboration with the German artist Ulay. With him, she shared life and work until the end of the 1980s. Considered as a single entity, the two artists together created innovative and highly impactful performances. These focused in particular on the body and the close relationship of their actions.
An artistic and loving partnership that ended with an equally spectacular and exciting performance (The Lovers) that saw them walk the Chinese wall from two opposite ends, until they meet in the center and say goodbye. From those years onwards, Marina Abramović devoted herself to an autobiographical art.
“I am the object”
Her is a social work that investigates not the autonomy of the work of art but that of the human being. Above all, she is constantly exploring the relationship between performer and audience. The artist has always believed in an art that investigates the needs of society. “Art without ethics is cosmetic.”
In the performative activity, she uses the body as a medium and material for her artistic research. In particular, she experiments with physical limits and mental possibilities, even reaching masochistic actions.
Among her best-known works we can include Rhythm 0 (Naples 1974), from the “Rhythms” series, where the artist offered her willless body to the spectators. They could use the 72 objects specially placed on the table on her. The show began delicately, and after became violent and uncontrolled. That to the point of placing a loaded gun in the artist’s hands.
In Balkan Baroque, the artist is engaged in washing 1,500 bloody ox bones, a ritual of symbolic purification and reflection on a difficult historical moment in the former Yugoslavia. Presented at the XLVII Venice Biennale (1997), it won her the Golden Lion.
Marina Abramović plays Maria Callas
Marina Abramović is now playing Maria Callas at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. That’s the most important national opera house in the Bavarian state. 7 Deaths of Maria Callas, therefore, proposes the tragic events of 7 women interpreted at the time by Callas and now reinterpreted by Abramovic. In particular, these women are Tosca, Lucia, Cho Cho-san, Violetta, Carmen, Norma, and Desdemona.
Seven dramatic icons of opera whose figures are enriched with a new complexity, born in this show-tribute. It is as if these characters lived a new, unprecedented life, resulting from the long-distance dialogue between Maria Callas and Marina Abramovic. She also designed the scenography, while the music is by the young composer Marko Nikodijević.
The presence of the actor Willem Dafoe (who will play the role of the murderer) and the costume work by Riccardo Tisci, of the Burberry Maison, further enhance this new and brave project.