Marina Abramović, Art must be beautiful, artist must be beautiful, 1975
Marina Abramović
Art must be beautiful, artist must be beautiful

Marina Abramović (*1946, Serbia) is one of the artists who made a decisive impact on the history of performance art and on the criticism of the representation of the female body in Western culture. The testing of physical and mental limits (sometimes at the risk of her own life), the intensity and endurance of her performances and the creation of extreme situations that also involve the audience are just some of the characteristic elements of her artistic practice to this day. Between 1979 and 1988, Abramović worked together with the German artist Ulay, with whom she created some of her most famous and influential works. In 2005, she completed the project Seven Easy Pieces, which comprised the re-enactment of six historical performances by other artists (Vito Acconci, Joseph Beuys, VALIE EXPORT, Gina Pane, Bruce Nauman) as well as herself, and a new work that she created for the occasion. This project questions the conditions of performance art as a time-based medium and as a form of cultural transmission, staking a claim that performance should be understood as an active part of art history and art criticism.

In one of her groundbreaking works, Marina Abramović positions herself right in front of the camera, addressing the viewers directly. The image reveals only her face and hands, concentrating her corporeality in these two elements. She continually repeats an action regarded as typically feminine, reinterpreting it in the context of art history through her performance: The artist combs her hair forcefully, without a pause, for more than 50 minutes. During this time, she repeats the sentence “art must be beautiful, artist must be beautiful” like a mantra. The constant repetition
of the words and the action give the work a sustained intensity that puts the artist and the audience into a trance-like state, in which overcoming the physical pain frees the body and mind from the conventions of Western society and culture. MM

Courtesy Marina Abramović & Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst

Document media
Video, b&w, sound, 14:15 min

Issue date
1975

Relations
VALIE EXPORT (EXP 1)
VALIE EXPORT (EXP 2)
Gina Pane (PAN 1)


Tags
beauty, femininity, pain

Archive Signature
ABR 1
A
Ebtisam Abdulaziz
Marina Abramović
Helena Almeida
Eleanor Antin
Arahmaiani
Malin Arnell
Oreet Ashery
Augusta Atla
Margarita Azurdia
B
Antonia Baehr
Maja Bajević
Anne Bean
Anat Ben-David
Renate Bertlmann
Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz
Nisrine Boukhari
Marijs Boulogne
Tania Bruguera
Nancy Buchanan
Maris Bustamante
C
Cabello / Carceller
Shirley Cameron/ Monica Ross/ Evelyn Silver
Graciela Carnevale
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
Helen Chadwick
Chicks on Speed
Lygia Clark
Mary Coble
Colette
Cooltūristės
Corpus Deleicti
Nieves Correa
Laura Cottingham
Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen
D
Katrina Daschner
Teresa María Díaz Nerio
Vlasta Delimar
Carola Dertnig
Disband
Ines Doujak
Orshi Drozdik
Yingmei Duan
Kirsten Dufour
E
Diamela Eltit
Rose English
VALIE EXPORT
F
F.F.F.F.
Factory of Found Clothes
Esther Ferrer
Les filles Föllen
Rose Finn-Kelcey
Angelika Fojtuch
Simone Forti
Coco Fusco
G
(e.) Twin Gabriel
Regina José Galindo
Anna Bella Geiger
Rimma Gerlovina and Valeriy Gerlovin
Patrycja German
Ghazel
Kate Gilmore
Trine Mee Sook Gleerup
H
Mona Hatoum
Lynn Hershman
High Heel Sisters
María Teresa Hincapié
Nan Hoover
I
Icelandic Love Corporation - Gjörningaklúbburinn
IngridRobertMwangiHutter
Sanja Iveković
J
Elżbieta Jabłońska
Françoise Janicot
Birgit Jürgenssen
Joan Jonas
Anne Jud
Kirsten Justesen
K
Kanonklubben
Line Skywalker Karlström
Tina Keane
Klonaris / Thomadaki
Bettina Knaup & Beatrice Ellen Stammer
Jakob Lena Knebl
Verica Kovacevska
Elena Kovylina
Katarzyna Kozyra
Christina Kubisch
Kvinder på Værtshus (Women down the pub)
Verena Kyselka
L
Nicola L
Latifa Laâbissi
Leslie Labowitz
Leslie Labowitz & Suzanne Lacy
Suzanne Lacy
Katalin Ladik
Sigalit Landau
Klara Lidén
Kalup Linzy
Natalia LL
Léa Lublin
M
Jumana Manna
Manon
MaraM
María Evelia Marmolejo
Muda Mathis
Dóra Maurer
Mónica Mayer
Ana Mendieta
Marta Minujín
Fina Miralles
Molly and me
Linda Montano
Charlotte Moorman
Teresa Murak
Sands Murray-Wassink
N
Narcissister
Rabbya Naseer & Hurmat Ul Ain
Senga Nengudi
Les Nyakes
O
Paulina Ołowska & Lucy McKenzie
Lorraine O’Grady
Hannah O’Shea
Funda Özgünaydin
Itziar Okariz
Yoko Ono
ORLAN
Tanja Ostojić
P
Gina Pane
Letícia Parente
Ewa Partum
Jillian Peña
Performance Saga
Friederike Pezold
Howardena Pindell
Adrian Piper
Mariuccia Pisani
Polvo de Gallina Negra
Pussy Riot
R
Yvonne Rainer
Eglė Rakauskaitė
Jytte Rex
Àngels Ribé
La Ribot
Jesusa Rodríguez / Liliana Felipe
Ulrike Rosenbach
Martha Rosler
Boryana Rossa
María Ruido
S
Raeda Saadeh
Andrea Saemann
Les Salonnières und Dr. Soley
Estíbaliz Sábada
Zorka Ságlová
Christine Schlegel
Cornelia Schleime
Carolee Schneemann
Schwarze Schokolade
Stefanie Seibold
Stefanie Seibold & Teresa María Díaz Nerio
Miriam Sharon
Bonnie Ora Sherk
Barbara T. Smith
Cornelia Sollfrank
Antonieta Sosa
Spiderwoman Theater
Annie M. Sprinkle
Gabriele Stötzer
Sandra Sterle
Annika Ström
Melati Suryodarmo
Anna Szwajgier/ Zorka Wollny
T
Jinoos Taghizadeh
Milica Tomić
Mare Tralla
Teresa Tyszkiewicz
U
Mierle Laderman Ukeles
V
Valie Export Society
Cecilia Vicuña
W
The Waitresses
Julita Wójcik
Faith Wilding
Hannah Wilke
Martha Wilson
Y
Nil Yalter
Yeni & Nan