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Marina Abramovic quotes

One of the most wonderful things for me is to watch somebody else perform, where I am the audience - I love this more than ever.

Performance has to be mainstream art. This is what I'm fighting for.

The only theatre I do is my own. Somehow, my life is the only life that I can play.

To really change the way society thinks, you have to give your entire being to it until there's nothing left.

We make such terrible mistakes with visual choices about beauty.

When people ask me where I am from I never say, 'Serbia.' I always say, 'I come from a country that no longer exists.'

My grandmother, when she looked at American movies, she said, 'They're all the same. In the first scene somebody shoots somebody and then everybody makes phone calls.'

You see, what is my purpose of performance artist is to stage certain difficulties and stage the fear the primordial fear of pain, of dying, all of which we have in our lives, and then stage them in front of audience and go through them and tell the audience, 'I'm your mirror; if I can do this in my life, you can do it in yours.'

From the very early stage when I started doing performance art in the '70s, the general attitude - not just me, but also my colleagues - was that there should not be any documentation, that the performance itself is artwork and there should be no documentation.

Happiness is such a good state, it doesn't need to be creative. You're not creative from happiness, you're just happy. You're creative when you're miserable and depressed. You find the key to transform things. Happiness does not need to transform.

I am not a therapist. I am not a spiritual leader. These elements are in the art: it is therapeutic, spiritual, social and political - everything. It has many layers. But art has to have many layers. If it doesn't, then forget it.

I am obsessive always, even as a child. On one side is this strict orthodox religion, on the other is communism, and I am this little girl pulled between the two. It makes me who I am. It turns me into the kind of person that Freud would have a field day with, for sure.

I really don't like art where you need to know so much theory to understand. If the theory is removed, it doesn't do anything. That means that this work is an illustration of theory, and I don't believe in the power of the work itself.

I really think there's no difference between an art piece made by a man and one made by a woman. Is it a good art piece or a bad art piece? Of course, if you're female, you're maybe dealing with different issues.

I used to have a recurring dream where I was at a party in a country house, surrounded by the same people each evening. Everyone would be singing and dancing and after a while I came to know the people; though, of course, they never really existed.

I was friends with Susan Sontag the last four years of her life. She had this amazing charisma and so much energy, but she had a sad little funeral in Montparnasse in Paris. It was rainy. It was all wrong. And I was thinking, 'God, she loved life so much.'

If you see a Renaissance body, this is completely ugly in this time. Everybody has to be skinny. But the Renaissance body with incredible flow of the meat everywhere, it was beauty.

It's very important that young artists push boundaries, because sometimes you have this urge to do something - like the impulsive and dangerous urges I had as a child - and if you don't follow through with it you might miss out on a developmental experience.

Most of the time, the artists are not supposed to wear the fashion. It is always seen as a vanity. But I think I don't need to prove anything in my life. I can honestly say I love fashion and I can be many things at the same time.

My mother and father had a terrible marriage. They celebrated their wedding anniversary one year with their friends. Why did they celebrate? Maybe because they had lasted so many years without killing each other.