Often referred to as the ‘grandmother of performance art,’ Marina Abramovic continues to amaze the audience with her dangerous and dramatic performances. In her shows, she tests the limits of her mind and body by challenging herself against her deepest fears. Marina Abramovic is truly an inspiration as someone who strives each day to experience the fullness of being alive. It’s rare to come across an individual who purposely allows themselves to be so open and vulnerable to their fears in order to overcome them. I’m often so guarded by my fears that it gets in the way of my goals and dreams. This is why Marina Abramovic is such an important artist in my eyes. Her passion for her work stems so deep that she is often willing to sacrifice her own life during her performances. In one of her shows, Abramovic provided the audience with a supply of items, ranging from a loaded gun to a feather, which the audience could use on her in any way they pleased. Not only did she put trust in her audience to spare her life, she opened her mind up to being okay with the possibility of death. “ I was ready to die” Abramovic told a reporter after the show. To come to terms with death, must take a lot of courage. But, Marina is constantly living to experience the fullness of life and maybe getting as close as possible to death was just another way to do that. She is constantly exploring her existence in this world as a human being, which is very admirable in a world that has become so wrapped up in technology. When I watched the interview of Marina Abramovic with James Franco, I liked how she said that artists shouldn’t be in a studio because they are so confining and art needs room to flourish; it comes from life and living. Although Marina Abramovic practices being limitless and sets extreme standards to facing your fears, she is a great example to learn from.
Researching Abramovic made me wonder ‘what really is aliveness?” Is it losing your breath from jumping out of a plane or surrounding yourself with silence in meditation? Each person sets their own limits, therefore, each person determines what aliveness is to them. Aliveness or experiencing the true essence of being would fall just beyond those boundaries you have set for yourself. Once you build the courage to conquer your fears and to explore what’s beyond your minds reach, that is when you give yourself the chance to feel free and alive. That is when you give yourself the opportunity to explore how indestructible you can be and how fragile you can be. Conquering your fears can build your confidence giving you a stronger mindset going into your future. By following Marina Abarmovic’s example of freedom and limitlessness, we can test our strengths and weaknesses to experience life in ways we’ve only dreamt of.