Listen to Marina Abramović reflect on making art in the age of coronavirus

Speaking in a recent interview, iconic Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović has offered some insight into her thoughts on coronavirus, and the effects the pandemic has had on the process of making art.

Abramović discussed the pitfalls of making art which directly relates to the news, the importance of embracing uncertainty, and the way forward for performance art in a post-virus world.

Marina Abramović, coronavirus

Performance artist Marina Abramović has reflected on art in the age of the pandemic in a recent interview: “The coronavirus is not exactly a sexy thing to work with.” 

Speaking in a recent interview with The Art Newspaper, Abramović expressed caution about making art directly related to current events:

“I always think it is very dangerous for artists when the immediate events of the day change their work or the way they think,” she described. “If we immediately make work about this, it is somehow like you are recycling the daily news and I don’t think art should be about that. Art should be disturbing, it should ask questions, and it should predict the future.”

“I don’t like to deal with the coronavirus,” she continued. “I literally don’t have any ideas or inspiration at all. The coronavirus is not exactly a sexy thing to work with.” 

Abramović also spoke about the current impact of uncertainty on the human psyche:

“The really important problem right now is that people are living in fear because they love to organise their lives and to know everything that they are going to do from now until when they die. And in such an uncertain situation, this is not possible.”

“I love uncertainty as I think about the present time as the only actual reality that we have. The only thing that is certain is now,” she continued.

When asked about the future of performance art post-coronavirus, Abramović described: “I really think that the coronavirus is not going to stay forever, there will be a vaccination and then we can have normal performance events.”

Yet until that happens, Abramović suggests methods of augmented reality as a way forward “because you can capture the performer’s energy and have it in your living room, all just for you”.

To check out the full interview, head here.

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