Author Marina Abromovic
If you are unfamiliar with Marina Abromovic then you probably didn’t see the wonderful documentary The Artist is Present. It showcases a project of hers in which she sat in silence with hundreds and hundreds participants who came to be a part of the performance art with her.
Thousands of people lined up in New York for the chance to sit across from her and experience an “energy exchange” with the artist. They were allowed to sit for as long as they would like during museum hours and she was present daily for months without eating, leaving, or even using the restroom.
The Artist is Present brought attention to this woman who has been performing highly demanding and eccentric performance art for decades across the world.
This memoir, Walk Through Walls, tells the story in her own words. She is truly a force and her story is remarkable.
Walk Through Walls does what any good memoir should do. It allows you insight into a life that is very different from your own, into a perspective that you likely do not share, and into experiences that you will likely never have.
I kept thinking how very unrelatable a lot of her stories are. Her life is so vastly different from mine I cannot even put myself in her shoes most of the time but there is still plenty of common ground on which to stand.
She describes in detail many of her performances which can be seen as beautiful expressions of the capabilities of a motivated human body or seen as horrific exploitations of masochism depending on your own world view. Either way, you don’t want to stop reading about them and luckily she includes many many photographs to bring it all together.
When she’s not displaying herself naked while drawing blood in one way or another she is living the life of a vagabond artist or eventually a successful one who’s had some luck alongside her unfettered determination and vision.
When she’s not working she’s dealing with the stressors that come with romantic love and being entangled with another soul. This is when she’s most relatable. Anyone who has experienced passion and heartbreak will find commonalities here.
Abromovic is a fascinating individual, truly. Regardless of your opinions on performance art this memoir shines light on her history and mindset that will help you get just a little closer to understanding why a person would subject themselves to such extreme violence and hardship in the name of art.
It’s incredibly important to expose yourself to stories that are not similar to your own. This is one of those stories and is an absolute must read.
5/5 drops of blood 🩸🩸🩸🩸🩸
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Buy it here: Walk Through Walls: A Memoir