We meet the bold Serbian artist for an interview and covershoot in advance of Frieze Art Fair 2010
Marina Abramovic is risking life and limb (well, maybe just an eye) for our cover, by befriending the hungry red tailed hawk currently perched on her wrist. Thankfully, the worst Abramovic endures are a few scratches and a sore arm from lifting the bird’s 1.5 kilos for long periods of time. She is, however, more than used to risking real injury, even death, by ritually starving herself, instigating her own blackouts or stabbing herself, all in the name of performance art.
Earlier this year, she sat stock-still for some 700 hours throughout the entire three-month run of her major retrospective, ‘The Artist Is Present’, at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. From opening to lights out, she sat motionless in the atrium, without any food, water or toilet breaks, inviting gallerygoers to sit opposite her for as long as they dared. Her marathon staring match with more than 1,500 museum visitors (including a few famous faces such as Björk, Lou Reed, Kim Catrall and Michael Stipe) was just the icing on a celebration of almost 40 years of similarly strong stuff by the Serbian artist.
Interview: Ossian Ward