Blood and pain: Extreme performance artist Marina Abramovic turns 70 | Arts | DW.COM | 30.11.2016

‘The art of sitting still – Those who thought Abramovic had already broken all the rules of performance art were soon surprised. During “The Artist Is Present,” a retrospective in her honor at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Abramovic took the title literally. For 75 days, seven hours a day, she sat on a wooden stool, neither eating nor using the restroom during that time. This was only possible by following a strict diet.An empty chair was set up across from her so that visitors could take a seat and observe the art icon. Stars like Sharon Stone, Tilda Swinton, Björk and Lady Gaga made use of the chair and participated in Abramovic’s performance.Even today, her works continue to be intense, but are characterized less by violence and more by asceticism and recollection. That’s what her “Abramovic Method” is based on – a mix of various esoteric and eastern relaxation and meditation exercises. She says she aims to communicate the techniques that she employs during her strenuous performances. Abramovic sat for days in MoMA for “The Artist is Present” in 2010Her critics say Abramovic reduces herself to a society shaman. Her crowdfunding project for the Marina Abramovic Institute was scoffed at and the building, designed by Rem Koolhaas, remains unfinished.’I’ve decided to be happy’Why does the artist want to bury three Marinas? Each one stands for a different part of her, she says: courage, spirituality and nonsense. She used to feel ashamed for these parts, but now accepts herself as she is, which is why she doesn’t have a problem with turning 70.”You need night to understand yourself. Getting older means getting wiser,” Abramovic told DW. “Seventy is a big number. You know that you’re going to the last part of your life and that you have to concentrate on the most important things. And I’ve decided to be happy.”

Source: Blood and pain: Extreme performance artist Marina Abramovic turns 70 | Arts | DW.COM | 30.11.2016