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Marina Abramovic’s “Body” in Betweenness

Park Mheesung 1

1홍익대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the way Marina Abramovic’s own body represents in the her performances thus becomes the ultimate site for the construction of her subjectivity. Abramovic’s life as an artist is internally related to the history of performance art. She was born in 1946 into a family of the post-World War II Communist elite and started her artistic career in the late 1960s and early ’70s in Belgrade Yugoslavia. She established her own private mythology based on family members who were Orthodox Christian church leaders and Communist national heroes, and she lived all the pathos of Balkan paradoxes. Abramovic is integrating the audience as part of her performance. She seeks the point at which the audience reaches the limits of its endurance in witnessing pain or danger. Her performances are a series of experiments aimed at identifying and defining limits: of her control over her own body; of an audience’'s relationship with a performer; of art and, by extension, of the codes that govern society. This paper first questions where we can locate Marina Abramovic’s place in our current discussions of contemporary art in relation to performance. Then, in the second chapter, I scrutinize several pre-existing scholarly perspectives on Abramovic works. The third chapter analyzes Abramovic’s body in the performance art, and then discusses how her work embodied it. In her series of performance in the early and mid-1970s Abramovic explored passive aggressin constructing the actions around her spectacular body. The last chapter of this paper deals with Abramovic’s body in the betweenness, which overlaps the being of a performer and audience.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.