Exclusive: Marina Abramović On How Fashion Saved Her

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When we think of Marina Abramović, we picture The Artist Is Present, her iconic performance at the MoMa in which she sat in a chair for 736.5 hours and stared deep into the eyes of strangers sitting across from her. The piece changed the way we view the boundary between art and the public, in that it revealed how transformative it can be when that boundary is broken. It's something we keep in mind with our own work on a daily basis.

And, because Abramović's work so thoroughly influences our philosophy, we were thrilled to get an exclusive video of her talking about something that's part of our work: fashion. In this never-before-seen clip, Abramović talks about how fashion saved her from a broken heart when she was 40. She says that after her 12-year relationship ended, she experienced a depression so severe that she felt "fat, ugly, and unwanted." It wasn't until she had a successful art sale and bought some new clothes in Paris — trousers, a jacket, and a white shirt, to be exact — that her self-confidence returned. She says, "I understood that it's not any crime to love fashion, to like to be dressed in a certain way to feel good." We couldn't agree more.

Check out this exciting video, and then head on over to her Kickstarter page. There's only a few days left in the fundraiser to create the Marina Abramović Institute, a center dedicated to the presentation and preservation of long durational work. It's met its goal of $600,000, but we think it deserves all the monetary love that can be rounded up.

Marina Abramovic on The Role of Fashion in Her Life from Marina Abramovic Institute on Vimeo.

Photo: Courtesy of OMA.


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