Q

Marina Abramovic gets to the other side of fear by facing it

Marina Abramovic reveals all in her new memoir, Walk Through Walls.
Performance artist Marina Abramovic's new memoir, Wall Through Walls, is a revealing look into the life of Serbian star. (Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives)
Listen17:01

Marina Abramovic's groundbreaking performance art suggests that she's a fearless person — but in fact, she can be the complete opposite. 

"You have to do things you're afraid of, not the things you like," Abramovic reminds herself. "If you do things you like, you'll never change and you'll do the same mistakes over and over again." 

A photo taken from Marina Abramovic's famous work of art, The Artist is Present. (Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives)

She was referring to one of her earliest pieces called Rhythm 10 where she turns a well-known knife game into a bloody expression of sound. It was a process that actually scared her but fear never deters Abramovic. Her goal: "Come to the other side of your fear [...] it's a real process of liberation."

In her new memoir, Walk Through Walls (out now), the Serbian born and now New York-based artist opens up about her life growing up the daughter of Communist war-hero parents, leaving home at a young age and some of her most notable pieces of work to date. 

Performance artist Marina Abramovic's new memoir, Wall Through Walls, is a revealing look into the life of Serbian star. (Penguin Random House Canada)

WEB EXTRA | Watch a trailer for the Marina Abramovic documentary The Artist is Present, which features clips from a number of art works mentioned in the q interview including Rhythm 10 and The Artist is Present.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.