Marina Abramovic is the world’s most celebrated performance artist; nicknamed the “Grandmother of Performance Art” for her extensive body of work, she’s led a fascinating life, from a dark childhood in postwar Yugoslavia to finding worldwide fame as an artist known for testing, and overcoming, the limits of fear and pain.
Marina Abramovic has been making groundbreaking art for the past five decades. Now, she turns her powerful gaze inward to examine the extraordinary life that’s informed her art. For someone who’s strived to break the artist/audience barrier using her body as a canvas, Abramovic’s personal history is largely unknown. In Walk through Walls, she reveals her past with utter candor and deep emotion, in a narrative that is guaranteed to surprise you.
Marina’s life begins in Belgrade, where she was raised by Communist war heroes. Her parents met under extraordinary circumstances in World War II, saving each other’s lives and marrying shortly thereafter. An incredible love story for the ages … until it wasn’t. Their relationship deteriorated and Marina suffered, withstanding her strict mother’s abuse and control, with only her staunchly Catholic grandmother showing affection. Upon leaving home to pursue her art, she experienced complete freedom. In 1976, she met Ulay, a performance artist and the love of her life, with whom she collaborated for twelve years, many of which they spent traveling Europe living in a van, until they ended their partnership in a dramatic piece atop the Great Wall of China.
Marina has performed physically punishing, dangerous art to illustrate the courage and endurance we can find within. She’s been stripped, cut, burned, had her blood sucked, and a loaded gun held to her head as the ultimate test of the relationship between artist and viewer. Her retrospective at MoMA in 2010, The Artist Is Present, drew 850,000 visitors to sit across from her, nonverbally connecting. Since then, she’s enraptured a new generation of artistic luminaries who’ve sought her out as a collaborator: Lady Gaga, Matthew Barney, James Franco, and Jay Z, to name a few.
“My experiences have always been a big part of my work—they’re the source of everything I do, they’re my inspiration,” says Marina. “I hope that by sharing my story, I can give people the courage to do the things they’re afraid to do in their own lives.” Told with a one-of-a-kind charismatic voice, Walk through Walls will be the one piece of Marina’s art that anyone can take home. Download and start listening now!