Marina Abramović on TED Talk: An art made of trust, vulnerability and connection

NEWSPosted : December 25, 2015

Marina Abramović, the world-acclaimed artist who created Dream House (2000) for Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale gave TED (Technology Entertainment Design) Talk in March 2015.

Click ≫here to check her presentation, or rather "a performance" which has recently been uploaded on the TED's web site.

At the beginning of her talk, she explained about her past performance "Rhythm 0" (1974) to blindfolded audience. In "Rhythm 0", audience were invited to use any of the 76 objects she had chosen and allowed to do anything they desired to do to her body for six hours. In TED Talk, she gave an opportunity for the audience to experience for themselves the passive role she played in the performance.

By introducing her works, she talked about the principle of expression behind her performances and other pieces. She said "performance is mental and physical construction that performer makes in specific time and space in front of audience and then energy dialogue happens. Audience and performer make the piece together." She explained that what she does is to stage any fears that all the human-being have such as suffering, pain and mortality and using audience's energy to extend her boundaries.

These works introduced during the talk included collaborations with then partner, Ulay began in late 1970s, one of their pieces called "The Great Wall Walk" (1998) for ending their relationship, and three-months running of "The Artist Is Present" (2010) at MoMA retrospective where she was immobile and shared a period of silence with audience sat in front of her face to face.

▼Rest Energy (1980)
Abramović held a bow while Ulay pointed an arrow at her, exploring a question to yourself when you are treated as an object by others.

▼"The Great Wall Walk" (1998)
Abramović and Ulay started to walk 2500km of the Great Wall from two opposite ends, met in the middle, shook hands each other and said good-bye.

▼"The Artist Is Present" (2010) at MoMA
Two chairs facing each other in the gallery. Abramović sat still while anyone were invited to take turns sitting opposite her provided they also remained silent, immobile and looked into her eyes.

At the end of the talk, she asked the audience to turn to a person close-by whom they didn't know each other and looked into eyes for two minutes. She then finished her talk by saying "thank you for trusting me".
That was only possible when you trusted the other person next to you.
And when the audience trusted the artist.

Abramović, through her experiences, showed performance is only possible when there exits trust.