One of the most important living artist, Marina Abramovic has been pushing boundaries and pioneering new form of performance art for over 40 years. In a recent interview for The Calvert Journal, she talks about her Method and the transformational power of performance art.
If the Serbian artist did not invent performance art, she started experimenting with it in the late 1960w and has done more than anyone else to put performance on the art map by endlessly promoting the media over the last 40 years.
The Abramovic Method distills the artist's knowledge about performance. Particularly prevalent in theatre, she sees the very notion of 'method" as purely Slavic, in the tradition of theatre directors Stanislavsky, Grotowski or Kantor. Her method includes series of cleansing practices, carried out in three basic physical positions (lying down, sitting and standing), designed to slow down the activity of the audience and put us in the right mood to fully experience long-duration performance.
In her own words "Long-durational performance is very hard on the performer but the transformation he or she undergoes changes the public and their view on life itself. For a performance you have to be in the present. But during the performance your mind can go to different spaces, times, think about something else. If you have to count every second, how much time have you got for your mind to go somewhere else between one second and another? It requires huge willpower to be in the present constantly. By doing that you change your brain pattern. By changing your brain pattern, you change your intake of oxygen and you can create a completely different state of mind, which can actually affect your life."