Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović

Advice to the young

Follow your intuition. Have courage. Do what you imagine. And always be completely present in the moment. Marina Abramović on what it really means to be an artist: "A great artist has to be ready to fail."

Meet the charismatic performance artist Marina Abramović in this interview on what it means to be an artist, waking up each morning with an urge to be creative.

Abramović says that the most courageous act in the history of mankind was Christopher Columbus discovering America, which was in fact a mistake, since they went into the unknown believing they would reach India. She also explains how the best advice she received as a student was to never allow things to become routine.

A good artist will have one really good idea in their life, while a brilliant artist may have two, so one has to be careful with the ideas, Abramović says. She explains that she always does the work she is most afraid of, which is most different to what she has done before. Finally Abramović adds that the performing artist has to be completely present in the moment, and cannot be thinking of the next step. You have to follow intuition, have courage and do what you imagine.

Marina Abramović (1946) became world famous after her retrospective 'The Artist is Present' at MoMA in 2010, which was followed by a documentary film premiering in 2013. Abramović began her career in the early 1970s and has recently begun to describe herself as the ’grandmother of performance art’. Abramović's work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body and the possibilities of the mind. To Ambramovic the purpose of art is the transformation of the artist and of the viewer.

Marina Abramovic was interviewed by Christian Lund in New York, September 2013.

Photography by René Johansen.

Editing by Kamilla Bruus.

Produced by Christian Lund, 2013.

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Supported by Nordea-fonden.

  • Keith Tyson

    Art in a coffee cup

    Short interview with British artist Keith Tyson, who won the Turner Prize in 2002. Here he tries as simple as possible to say what art is about.

  • Daniel Kehlmann

    I could have been someone else

    ”I think a lot about chance and coincidence. We tend to regard the status quo as necessary, but in fact small details rule our existence. Absolutely anything in life could be completely different. For a writer this is an ideal situation: The novel is the art form of ambivalence.” Meet German writer Daniel Kehlmann, author of the global bestseller Measuring the World.

  • Adrian Paci

    Moments of transition

    "The artist offers visions. He imagines things. It's about how the experience of the world is feeding the language and how this language becomes part of the world." Interview with Albanian video-artist Adrian Paci about his work and how he views the world.

  • Jakob Bro

    Sketches of sound

    Meet the acclaimed Danish jazz guitarist Jakob Bro as he talks about the great influence of playing with jazz legends such as Paul Motian, Lee Konitz and Bill Frisell.

  • Jørgen Haugen Sørensen

    Art sees through society

    ”Sometimes I wonder if mankind is the happiest when it kills. Whether we are some sort of castrated mankind that has learned to tame itself in order to be able to live together.” Meet Danish sculptor Jørgen Haugen Sørensen for a conversation about art, society and the beast within us.

  • Darren Almond

    The landscape of the night

    The landscape of the night is like a Jackson Pollock painting - you know it's a Pollock straight away. You can read every mark within miliseconds, you feel the void, there is this calmness, that comes upon you. Interview with British artist Darren Almond about his series of full moon pictures.

  • Bill Viola

    The tone of being

    Aside from a magical visual side, Bill Violas videos are always accompanied by marvelous sound. In this interview Viola talks about the importance of sound in his work and how he is guided by a kind of 'undersound'.

  • Herta Müller

    How could I forgive

    ”Reconciliation? How can I reconcile with a regime? It's a huge machine. Each person was the dictatorship itself.” Interview with German-Romanian writer Herta Müller, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009. If you only see one interview with her, it must be this one!

  • Lydia Davis

    All I get out of three cows

    "I would like to try to understand them and see how they exist in the world. Their existence is just as important to them, as ours is to us". Acclaimed writer Lydia Davis has been observing three cows for some years. "I envy them", she says.

  • 3 writers

    On a riverbed by Olafur Eliasson

    Ever wondered what 180 tons of Icelandic rocks would look like, filling up a museum of modern art? Follow the acclaimed writers Sjón, James McBride and Daniel Kehlmann, as they take a tour through 'Riverbed', created by Olafur Eliasson.

  • William Kentridge

    How we make sense of the world

    "There is a desperation in al certainty. The category of political uncertainty, philosophical uncertainty, uncertainty of images is much closer to how the world is", says South African artist William Kentridge in this video presenting his work.

  • Lydia Davis

    Reading 'Goodbye Louise'

    "Linda, Lyidia, Lindon, Lyda…" The acclaimed American short story writer Lydia Davis reads an ongoing piece of writing - 'a false autobiography' - of mistakes made about her name and profession. It's funny!