Art must be Beautiful. Artist must be Beautiful

Marina Abramović


Video, 00:51:01.
Materials: dvd, b/w, sound

Collection: Collection Dutch Institute for Media Arts, Amsterdam.

Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful is one of Abramović’s seldom shown videos of her early performances. It may be read as an aggressive commentary on images of the body in the mass media. The theatrical charge of these early works depended on the audience’s direct reactions. Abramović also had the idea to turn the documentation of her performances into separate works of art.

During the last decade her work, which ironically references the stereotypical understanding of hysteria as theatrical motor of performance art by women, has filtered into mainstream pop culture. Abramović’s performances were directly or indirectly referenced by popular American TV series such as Sex and the City, which in turn cleared the path for her recent re-emergence on the museum circuit as the ‘Queen of Performance Art’ and one of the best paid contemporary artists.

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