This week’s Artist of the Week is a very unique individual whose work I greatly admire. Marina Abramovic is the first Artist OTW whose work I was previously familiar with so it was really cool to learn about her different types of work. After doing the discussion posts and doing my own research offline, I was a little taken aback to see how disturbing some of her art pieces were. For example, I was really shocked at her Rhythm 10 art performance which I discussed earlier in my discussion post. In response to Rhythm 10 I had stated,
“You know, I have to be honest, I really like a lot of her art works and I absolutely love the passion and uniqueness she puts into each piece but I really did not like this one. I do not really like the idea of self-mutilation as a form of art so it was a little hard to watch the video of this as I was doing further research on her earlier today. I remember in high school where kids would play a game like this called the knife game where there would see how fast they could stab the space in between their fingers without stabbing themselves. When I would see them play the game, I would think to myself how stupid I thought it was so maybe that’s why I have a hard time appreciating her rhythm 10 art performance, regardless of the fact she was not doing it to have fun”.
However, although some of her art performances and pieces left me feeling a bit uneasy, I still love and respect her as an artist for some of her pieces including “The Artist is Present” in 2010. In this performance piece Abramovic silently sat in a chair and allowed strangers to come and sit opposite of her. During this performance her former lover sat down in the chair and they saw each other for the first time in over 30 years. This beautiful and powerful moment was recorded and I remember my eyes watering when I first watched the video. This was the very first exposure I had to her art. The funny thing is, when I first saw the video a few years ago, I never would have guessed her sitting and staring at people was supposed to be a form of art. However, the message and emotion still came across even back then when I was not looking at it from an artistic standpoint. I think that’s one of the reasons Marina Abramovic is so successful as an artist. Her art provokes thought to anyone who sees it whether or not they like or agree with what she is portraying. Although some of her performance pieces were a bit disturbing and dark to me, I still liked the performance pieces over the still photos because I never knew until this class that this type of art even existed.