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Quando Marina Abramović morirà

  • Author: James Westcott
  • Year: 2011
  • Language: Italian
  • Pages: 352
  • Price: 32.00 €
  • ISBN: 978-88-6010-030-6
  • Size: cm 15.5 x 23

Belgrade, 1974: Marina Abramović set fire to a monumental five-pointed star, the symbol of the Tito regime, and lay down inside it until she was overcome by the fumes and fell unconscious. Naples, one year later: the artist challenged the public to use any of the objects laid out on a table on her resolutely passive body and one spectator pointed a loaded gun at her throat. New York, 2002: she lived and fasted for twelve days in a suspended structure set up in the Sean Kelly Gallery, drawing sustenance only from the fascinated gaze of spectators who watched her drink, sleep, wash and urinate. James Westcott was one of them and this was his first encounter with the self-proclaimed “grandmother of the Performance Art”. It is also the opening scene of When Marina Abramović Dies, an intimate biography of an artist who has been flirting with death for forty years by using her body as the focal point of legendary performances.

Launching herself into performance art initially meant rebelling against a “militarized” upbringing under the tyrannical control of a mother who imposed Communist cultural dictates and never kissed her. The complete break with Belgrade and take-off of her career began after she met the German artist Ulay. Together they toured Europe in a Citroën van transformed into a mobile home and staged performances laying bare an extreme symbiosis that culminated in Nightsea Crossing, repeated ninety times in five years, which involved them sitting immobile and gazing into one another’s eyes for seven consecutive hours across a table. In their last performance as a duo, they set off walking from either end of the Great Wall of China to meet in the middle three months later and say goodbye. Again a solo artist and soon to receive the Golden Lion at the 1997 Venice Biennial, Abramović finally arrived in the limelight of New York, from where still dominates the international art scene.

She has often been asked whether she has ever been afraid of dying during her daring actions. She answers, “What if I do? Life is a dream and the death an awakening. We should rather think about how precious our existence is and the senseless way we waste it.”

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James Westcott has written on art, architecture and politics for numerous publications including the Guardian and the Village Voice, He now lives in Rotterdam, where he works at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. He was assistant to Marina Abramović for a long time, his first assignment being to keep a minute-by-minute record of her actions during the historic performance The House with the Ocean View at the Sean Kelly Gallery. Westcott also participated in May 2010 in the artist’s Cleaning the House workshop, held in Andalusia, to “live in everything and through everything on the basis of her example”.

Ringraziamenti Nota al testo Prefazione Introduzione

 Prima parte Jugoslavia 1946-1975

1. Il male di nascere

2. Storie partigiane

3. Mestruazioni, masturbazioni, emicranie

4. Autogestione

5. La vita nell’arte

6. Un’arte nuova per una nuova società

7. Il suono si fa carne

8. Riti di passaggio

9. Segni

Seconda parte Ulay 1975-1988

10. 30 novembre + 30 novembre

11. Artist Must Be Beautiful

12. Energia mobile

13. Forza motrice

14. Chi crea i limiti

15. Aborigeni

16. La coppia del serpente va avanti

17. Teatro e tragedia

18. Astinenza e storie di letto

19. Rivelazioni

20. The Lovers

Terza parte Solista: dal 1988...

21. Spirituale-Materiale

22. Biography

23. Balcanizzazione

24. Per sempre temporaneo

25. Normalità

26. Il topo lupo e il Leone d’oro

27. Accordi e disaccordi

28. Biografo

29. La Performance Art come arte da mettere in scena

30. La conoscenza della morte

 

Epilogo

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