“…at this point, continue to place my body in the act of attempting to know”-Leonardo Drew
Once, Picasso was asked what his paintings meant. He said, “Do you ever know what the birds are singing? You don’t. But you listen to them anyway.” So, sometimes with art, it is important
just to look.
The hardest thing is to do something which is close to nothing because it is demanding all of you.
Because in the end you are really alone, whatever you do.
If you’re a woman, it’s almost impossible to establish a relationship. You’re too much for everybody. It’s too much. The woman always has to play this role of being fragile and dependent. And if you’re not, they’are fascinated by you, but only for a little while. And then they want to change you and crush you. And then they leave. So, lots of lonely hotel rooms, my dear.
To control the breathing is to control the mind. With different patterns of breathing, you can fall in love, you can hate someone, you can feel the whole spectrum of feelings by changing your breathing.
From a very early time, I understood that I only learn from things I don’t like. If you do things you like, you just do the same shit. You always fall in love with the wrong guy. Because there’s no change. It’s so easy to do things you like. But then, the thing is, when you’re afraid of something, face it, go for it. You become a better human being.”
What’s the cost?
“Ah, a big one. Lots of loneliness, my dear. If you’re a woman, it’s almost impossible to establish a relationship. You’re too much for everybody. It’s too much. The woman always has to play this role of being fragile and dependent. And if you’re not, they’re fascinated by you, but only for a little while. And then they want to change you and crush you. And then they leave. So, lots of lonely hotel rooms, my dear.
For the first three months, I place each student at a table with a thousand pieces of white paper and a trash can underneath. Every day they have to sit at the table for several hours and write ideas. They put the ideas they like on the right side of the table; the ones they don’t like, they put in the trash. But we don’t throw out the trash. After three months, I only take the ideas from the trash can. I don’t even look at the ideas they liked. Because the trash can is a treasure trove of things they’re afraid to do.
It is incredible how fear is built into you, by your parents and others surrounding you. You’re so innocent in the beginning; you don’t know.
People have so much pain inside them that they’re not even aware of.
Some couples buy pots and pans when they move in together. Ulay and I began planning how to make art together.
Two worms lived in shit, a father and son. The father said to his son, “Look at the wonderful life we have. We have plenty to eat and plenty to drink, and we are protected from outside enemies. We have nothing to worry about.” The son said to his father, “But father, I have a friend who lives in an apple. He also has plenty to eat, plenty to drink, is protected from outside enemies, and, he smells good. Can we live in an apple instead?” “No, we can’t,” replied the father. “Why?” said the son. “Because, my son, the shit is our country.
When I was young it was impossible for me to talk to people. Now I can stand in front of three thousand people without any notes, any preconception of what I’m going to say, even without visual material, and I can look at everyone in the audience and talk for two hours easily. What happened? Art happened.
What you’re doing is not important. What is really important is the state of mind from which you do it. Performance
Sometimes people are ashamed to talk about these things, but I know so many people who would never throw away their old shitty T-shirts or pullovers that are falling apart because of the comfort they get from those clothes. Everybody is vulnerable.
Time is an illusion. Time only exists when we think about the past and the future. Time doesn’t exist in the present here and now
The hardest thing to do is something that is close to nothing.
Human beings are afraid of very simple things: we fear suffering, we fear mortality. What I was doing in Rhythm 0—as in all my other performances—was staging these fears for the audience: using their energy to push my body as far as possible. In the process, I liberated myself from my fears. And as this happened, I became a mirror for the audience—if I could do it, they could do it, too.
If you experiment, you have to fail. By definition, experimenting means going to territory where you’ve never been, where failure is very possible. How can you know you’re going to succeed? Having the courage to face the unknown is so important. I
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 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 Life Manifesto: Marina Abramović
But I was also becoming aware of the changes in my own energy as I walked over different kinds of terrain. Sometimes there was clay under my feet, sometimes iron ore, sometimes quartz or copper. I wanted to try to understand the connections between human energy and the earth itself. In
Much later on, I read a statement of Bruce Nauman’s: “Art is a matter of life and death.” It sounds melodramatic, but it’s so true. This was exactly how it was for me
It taught me that the process was more important than the result, just as the performance means more to me than the object. I saw the process of making it and then the process of its unmaking. There was no duration or stability to it. It was pure process. Later on I read—and loved—the Yves Klein quote: “My paintings are but the ashes of my art
The negative space
Between the Tibetan bowls
And my gong
Is the shape of overaries and uterus.
I’ve never had children
And never will
There’s still time
About 6 years until middle age, for me.
I had a dream that I was taking a bath
With my ex love
He spilled his seed in the corner of the tub.
I decided not to wash hair
I filled the bathtub with fresh hot water and said that I was late for yoga
A blanket I came upon at the top of the cemetery last week
My house plants. The one one the left is called crown of thorns
I’m trying to grow roots on the Wandering Jew. That is not a metaphor.
Metal scrAp collection yard. Pennsburg, PA