Marina Abramovic, undisputed protagonist of contemporary art, will be on show at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence from 21 September 2018 to 20 January 2019.

There will be about 100 works by the artist from the Seventies up to now and some of her most famous performances will be performed.

In fact, she defines herself as “the grandmother of performance art”, an active, engaging art that involves a physical act on the part of the artist, which often also involves the public, both physically and mentally.

The experimentation of new languages, in fact, guided the art of the post-war period of the twentieth century in Europe; in this context Marina is inserted, who with her performances wants to express feelings and instincts, often also “obscure”, of the human soul.

She was born in Belgrade in 1946, where she attended the Academy of Fine Arts from 1965 to 1972 and took her first steps in the artistic world.

She moved to Amsterdam, where she met the German artist Uwe Laysiepen called “Ulay”, with whom he began a very important love story and a strong artistic and professional bond.

In fact, the two performed many performances together, such as Imponderabilia (1977) and Rest / Energy (1980).

Their most famous performance, probably, is The Lovers (1988), in which the two artists put an end to their relationship. The two went to the opposite sides of the Great Wall of China (Ulay on the side of the Goby desert, Marina on the side of the Yellow Sea) and after many kilometers of walking they met halfway to greet each other with a hug. In this way they put an end to their relationship with another majestic and debated exhibition.

But this was not the only performance by Abramovich to make history. In fact Rhythm 0, in Naples in 1974, was remembered because the artist was in the middle of a room where there were knives, scissors, ropes, flowers and even a gun.

Abramovic explained to her audience that she would be stationary for six hours and that everyone could do what they wanted without any legal consequences.


After an initial perplexity, the performance began to become violent: some people cut her clothes, scratched her with the thorns of the roses, tied her up, even a person put the gun in her hand, urging her to shoot.

Fortunately, other spectators intervened in order not to degenerate the situation.

This performance was intended to demonstrate the violence of human beings in the face of the impunity of the law.

Balcan Baroque, a video performance presented in Venice in 1997, where she is seated on bloody animal bones, full of larvae and worms. She spent three days cleaning the bones, and she did so to denounce the horrors of the Balkan War. Thanks to this work she won the Leone d’Oro.

The artist is present, held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2010, is probably her most famous performance for a “romantic”episode.

The artist was seated on a chair with a small table and an empty chair in front of her, which could be filled in turn by each person in the audience, who sat looking into her eyes.

The performance lasted three months and Abramovich remain impassive, looking into the eyes for about 750 spectators.

Until one day a man sat down in front of her. As soon as the artist saw him she squeezed his hand and without saying a word began to cry.

That person was Ulay, the man she had been in love with and had said goodbye in 1988. This exciting moment made the performance of Moma unforgettable.

© 2010 Scott Rudd

Below is the link of the video of the meeting with Ulay:

These are just some of her artistic permormance.

Currently Marina Abramovich resides in New York, where she is very professionally active.

Her artistic method, “the Abramovich method”, in which art through the body becomes a search for oneself, has a great following: Lady Gaga is one of her greatest supporters.

To learn more about the exhibition in Florence, I leave the link to the official site here:


Photos and videos: web

Edited by Teresa Battista


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