Marina Abramović: An Artist’s Life Manifesto – Hirshhorn Museum

Marina Abramović: An Artist’s Life Manifesto – Hirshhorn Museum


Good Evening As the Hirshhorn Museum [has] the show called Manifesto, I think it was appropriate to ask an artist, this time me, to read my own manifesto. It will take exactly a very fast five minutes, seven minutes if I read slow So, let’s go for it An artist’s conduct in his life: An artist should not lie to himself or others An artist should not steal ideas from another artist An artist should not compromise for himself or in regards to the art market An artist should not kill other human beings An artist should not make himself into an idol An artist should not make himself into an idol An artist’s relation to his love life: An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist [laughter] An artist’s relation to the erotic: An artist should develop an erotic point of view on the world An artist should be erotic An artist should be erotic An artist’s relation to suffering: An artist should suffer From the suffering comes his best work Suffering brings transformation Through the suffering an artist transcends his spirit An artist’s relation to depression: An artist should not be depressed Depression is a disease and should be cured Depression is not productive for an artist An artist’s relation to suicide: Suicide is a crime against life An artist should not commit suicide An artist’s relation to inspiration: An artist should look deep inside himself for inspiration The deeper he looks inside himself, the more universal he becomes The artist is universe An artist’s relation to self-control: The artist should not have self-control about his life The artist should have total self-control about his work An artist’s relation with transparency: The artist should give and receive at the same time Transparency means receptive Transparency means to give Transparency means to receive An artist’s relation to symbols: An artist creates his own symbols Symbols are an artist’s language The language must then be translated Sometimes it is difficult to find the key An artist’s relation to silence: An artist has to understand silence An artist has to create a space for silence to enter his work Silence is like an island in the middle of a turbulent ocean An artist must make time for the long periods of solitude Solitude is extremely important Away from home Away from the studio Away from family Away from friends An artist should stay for long periods of time at waterfalls An artist should stay for long periods of time at exploding volcanoes An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at fast-running rivers An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at the horizon where the ocean and sky meet An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at the stars in the night sky An artist’s conduct in relation to his work: An artist should avoid going to the studio every day An artist should not treat his work schedule as a bank employee does An artist should explore life and work only when an idea comes to him in a dream or during the day as a vision that arises as a surprise An artist should not repeat himself An artist should not overproduce An artist should avoid his own art pollution An artist’s possessions: Buddhist monks advise that it is best to have nine possessions in their life: 1 robe for the summer 1 robe for the winter 1 pair of shoes 1 begging bowl for food 1 mosquito net 1 prayer book 1 umbrella 1 mat to sleep on 1 pair of glasses if needed An artist should decide for himself the minimum personal possessions they should have An artist should have more and more of less and less A list of an artist’s friends: An artist should have friends that lift his spirits A list of an artist’s enemies: Enemies are very important The Dalai Lama has said that it is easy to have compassion with friends but much more difficult to have compassion with enemies An artist has to learn to forgive Different death scenarios: An artist has to be aware of his own mortality For an artist, it is not only important how he lives his life but also how he dies An artist should look at the symbols of his work for the signs of different death scenarios An artist should die consciously without fear Different funeral scenarios: An artist should give instructions before the funeral so that everything is done the way he wants it The funeral is the artist’s last art piece before leaving Thank you. [applause]

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