Monday, May 13, 2013

Marina Abramovic's Manifesto

I've been thinking about Marina Abramovic's manifesto recently. Not her recent MOCA Gala controversy, but the written manifesto itself. Here's a video of her reading it aloud in Florence. Below that is the text, re-posted from Il Grande Vetro



1. An artist’s conduct in his life:
  • An artist should not lie to himself or others 
  • An artist should not steal ideas from other artists 
  • An artist should not compromise for themselves or in regards to the art market 
  • An artist should not kill other human beings 
  • An artist should not make themselves into an idol 
  • An artist should not make themselves into an idol 
  • An artist should not make themselves into an idol 

2. An artist’s relation to his love life:
  • An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist 
  • An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist 
  • An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist 

3. 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 should be erotic 

4. An artist’s relation to suffering: 
  • An artist should suffer 
  • From the suffering comes the best work 
  • Suffering brings transformation 
  • Through the suffering an artist transcends their spirit 
  • Through the suffering an artist transcends their spirit 
  • Through the suffering an artist transcends their spirit 

5. 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
  • Depression is not productive for an artist 
  • Depression is not productive for an artist 

6. An artist’s relation to suicide:
  • Suicide is a crime against life 
  • An artist should not commit suicide 
  • An artist should not commit suicide 
  • An artist should not commit suicide 

7. An artist’s relation to inspiration:
  • An artist should look deep inside themselves for inspiration 
  • The deeper they look inside themselves, the more universal they become 
  • The artist is universe 
  • The artist is universe 
  • The artist is universe 

8. An artist’s relation to self-control:
  • The artist should not have self-c ontrol about his life 
  • The artist should have total self-control about his work 
  • The artist should not have self-control about his life 
  • The artist should have total self-control about his work 

9. 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 
  • Transparency means receptive 
  • Transparency means to give 
  • Transparency means to receive 
  • Transparency means receptive 
  • Transparency means to give 
  • Transparency means to receive 

10. 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 
  • Sometimes it is difficult to find the key 
  • Sometimes it is difficult to find the key

11. 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 
  • Silence is like an island in the middle of a turbulent ocean 
  • Silence is like an island in the middle of a turbulent ocean 

12. An artist’s relation to solitude:
  • 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 the 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 

13. An artist’s conduct in relation to 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 should avoid his own art pollution 
  • An artist should avoid his own art pollution 

14. An artist’s possessions:
  • Buddhist monks advise that it is best to have nine possessions in their life: 
  1. 1 robe for the summer 
  2. 1 robe for the winter 
  3. 1 pair of shoes 
  4. 1 begging bowl for food 
  5. 1 mosquito net 
  6. 1 prayer book 
  7. 1 umbrella 
  8. 1 mat to sleep on 
  9. 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 
  • An artist should have more and more of less and less 
  • An artist should have more and more of less and less

15. A list of an artist’s friends:
  • An artist should have friends that lift their spirits 
  • An artist should have friends that lift their spirits 
  • An artist should have friends that lift their spirits 

16. 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 
  • An artist has to learn to forgive 
  • An artist has to learn to forgive 

17. 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 
  • An artist should die consciously without fear 
  • An artist should die consciously without fear 

18. 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 
  • The funeral is the artist’s last art piece before leaving 
  • The funeral is the artist’s last art piece before leaving

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