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.

Camera: René Johansen
Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Yvette Brackman

    A Sense of Togetherness

    “There’s nothing about an art space that says you’re not included.” Meet the praised American artist Yvette Brackman, whose captivating artwork echoes her somewhat split upbringing as the all-American child of Russian Jewish dissidents.

  • Richard Ford

    OK to Say Negro

    Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Richard Ford here defends his usage of the word ‘negro’ and unflinchingly states that race relations in the U.S. will only improve if we stop “tippy-toeing around each other for fear that we’ll give somebody alarm.”

  • Hans-Peter Feldmann

    It's Always About Women

    “80 per cent of artists are dealing with mother issues.” In this personal interview the internationally praised German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann muses on the magnetic power of women, and shares how he has used art as both escape and therapy.

  • Yayoi Kusama

    Advice to the Young

    What piece of advice would one of the world’s most iconic contemporary artists pass on? Japanese Yayoi Kusama here turns the tables and argues that advice should not come from other people: “I am not an art teacher to you.”

  • Irma Boom

    My Manifesto for a Book

    Graphic designer Irma Boom is the woman behind some of the most stunning books to have been published in the last decade. Watch the internationally acclaimed icon of Dutch design discuss her uncompromising design method.

  • Yayoi Kusama

    Let's Fight Together

    Welcome to the magical, polka-dotted, pumpkin-filled world of the legendary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, who uses her art to fight for love and peace. We had the pleasure of meeting the 86-year-old Kusama in her colourful Tokyo-studio.

  • Sjón

    Let the Reader do the Work

    “When you start as a poet it makes you aware of how few words are needed to bring ideas from one mind to another.” Icelandic writer Sjón is a word-minimalist. Watch him explain why he gives his readers a minimum of words to work from.

  • Philipp Meyer

    Art is an Animal Inside Me

    Acclaimed American novelist Philipp Meyer has had many failed attempts at writing, but feels lucky that he got to discover his literary voice in private. He here shares why he writes and what keeps him going: “It’s an animal drive to write or make art.”

  • Joachim Koester

    A Dark Sea of Awareness

    Danish artist Joachim Koester discusses his acclaimed black-and-white film from 2009, which wordlessly investigates the legendary American author Carlos Castaneda’s idea that a certain set of exercises can help us “navigate the dark sea of awareness.”

  • Margaret Atwood

    The Woods Inside Me

    “I was carried into the woods in a packsack when I was six months old.” Canadian Man Booker Prize winning author Margaret Atwood here describes her special relationship to the woods, and her first overwhelming meeting with the city.

  • Sammy Baloji

    The Past in Front of Us

    Through his intriguing and poignant pictures, Congolese artist and photographer Sammy Baloji confronts the Western portrayal of his country by linking old photographs from Belgian colonial times with contemporary ones. The result is captivating.

  • COBE

    Monuments of the Future

    Dan Stubbergaard, founder of the internationally praised COBE Architects, takes us around his hometown Copenhagen in Denmark to show and discuss what motivates their exciting socially conscious and highly innovative projects.