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.

  • Ibrahim Al-Koni

    In the desert we visit death

    The desert means freedom. It is the only place where we can stare death in the face, and return home safely afterwards. Meet Libyan writer Ibrahim Al-Koni for a rare talk about the desert as a literary place.

  • Georg Baselitz

    Only in art the world is whole

    ”The most intact world is the world of art. Nothing is better or more interesting to me than paintings.” Renowned German artist Georg Baselitz looks back on his life, his roots and inspirations, and considers where he is at today.

  • Georg Baselitz

    My idol Edvard Munch

    Meet the legendary painter Georg Baselitz in this short interview about his idol Edvard Munch and their mutual interest in psychological mutilation: ”There is a method of drawing through which one recognizes that something isn't right.”

  • Kurt Vile

    My own little world

    "Music beat skateboarding." Meet Kurt Vile, the American musician living life in a pretty daze, in this interview about how his music has evolved naturally since he was 14.

  • 10 writers

    On the magic of reading

    Enjoy these 10 acclaimed writers as they reveal what the magic of reading is to them, and why they feel literature is so powerful.

  • Lene Tranberg

    My place of inspiration

    Award winning Danish architect Lene Tranberg takes us to a special place in central Copenhagen, Denmark, a space full of history and atmosphere, where you can experience the continuity which life is really about, she says.

  • Lene Tranberg

    The building is a landscape

    Award winning architect Lene Tranberg takes us to the heart of Copenhagen, Stræderne. Funnily, it is here - in one of the oldest neighbourhoods of the Danish capital - that her idea of modern architecture was formed.

  • Humberto Campana

    A material flirt

    Did you ever dream of design with a sense of Brazilian sensuality and playfulness? Meet Brazilian designer Humberto Campana from the renowned Campana brothers design team in this short video, where he shares his inspirations.

  • Yahya Hassan

    Poems of rage

    Aged just 18, Danish-Palestinian Yahya Hassan has caused a stir and received death threats because of his powerful poetry collection, which sold in 100.000 copies, criticizing the hypocrisy of the welfare state, his family and Muslims in Denmark.

  • Jonathan Meese

    A soldier saluting art

    Can an artist do the 'heil'-salute like the Nazis did during WW2? Artist Jonathan Meese was taken to court in Germany and won the trial. Here the artist explains why it is important to empty symbols of their meaning when fighting political ideology.

  • Aernout Mik

    A sense of uncertainty

    There is something going on, something disturbing, and we don’t know what it is. Meet the Dutch video artist Aernout Mik, who often works without sound: "I think the image is sharper, much sharper, without it."

  • Kerry James Marshall

    Paint it black

    Imagine being seen for who you really are, a central figure in narration. In this powerful interview American artist Kerry James Marshall talks about how he explores the presence and absence of the black figure in art history.