Marina Abramovic

We meet the bold Serbian artist for an interview and covershoot in advance of Frieze Art Fair 2010

© Scott Chasserot

How important are your audiences?‘Incredibly. For “The Artist Is Present” at MoMA I had people queuing overnight to sit with me. So many of them cried as well, I couldn’t believe that Americans would react so emotionally.’

What do you think about the ‘cult of Marina’? Your celebrity admirers include Lady Gaga, something of a performance-art buff herself…‘I haven’t even met her yet, but I hear that Sharon Stone is a fan of mine too! All my life I’ve been fighting against performance being an alternative form of art. Even photography and video have become mainstream, so I’m fed up with being ripped off by theatre, fashion, dance, advertising or TV.’

Your work now tends to be focused on duration.‘People think that the early work is more powerful or dramatic but mental endurance is so much more difficult. Those performances I did of weeping or cutting lasted just one hour, but I recently restaged one for seven hours. I can do more now because I’ve learned so much about self control and willpower.’

Interview: Ossian Ward

See Marina's London shows

  • Frieze Art Fair 2010

    Critics' choice Until Sun Oct 17, Regent's Park

    Marina will be showing at stand B7 at the Fair.

  • Marina Abramovic

    FreeCritics' choiceLast chance Until Sat Nov 13, Lisson Gallery

    Major showing of work by the influential and confrontational artist, whose performances challenge her own body's physical and psychologic...