The Life and Work of Marina Abramović

As one of the reigning queens of performance art, Marina Abramović has long been a household name in the world of contemporary art. This Serbian artist has been actively producing thought-provoking, often controversial work for over four decades. Her avant-garde performances challenge our perceptions of the body, the mind, and our own limitations. In this article, we’ll explore Abramovic’s life and career, including what she is best known for, what she has done, her father Vojo Abramovic, her current whereabouts, and her age.

Who is Marina Abramović?

Born on November 30, 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Marina Abramović is a renowned performance artist based in New York City. Her parents Vojo and Danica Abramovic were both Yugoslav Partisans during World War II who broke away from the International Brigades when Yugoslavia broke from the USSR. Her father was a hero, later becoming General in the YPA, a diplomat and head of Serbia’s secret police during the Tito era. Abramovic studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. In the 1970s, she began to explore performance art as a means of expressing her ideas and pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable in art.

What is Marina Abramović best known for?

Marina Abramović is best known for her often-grueling performances that challenge audiences to confront their own physical and emotional limits. Her work is often controversial, and has been known to push the boundaries of what is acceptable in art. Here are some of her most famous works:

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Rhythm 0

Perhaps Abramović’s most famous performance, Rhythm 0 took place in 1974 in Naples, Italy. During the piece, Abramović stood still in front of a table filled with 72 objects, ranging from feathers and flowers to razor blades and a loaded gun. The audience was invited to interact with her in any way they chose for six hours. Over the course of the performance, Abramović was cut with a razor blade, had a rose shoved in her face, and had the loaded gun placed against her head, among other things.

The Artist is Present

The Artist is Present was a 2010 performance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. For the piece, Abramović sat motionless in a chair for seven hours a day, every day, for three months. Visitors to the museum were invited to sit across from her, one at a time, and gaze into her eyes.

Balkan Baroque

Balkan Baroque was a performance that Abramović presented at the Venice Biennale in 1997. The piece dealt with her personal history and the trauma of the war in Yugoslavia. While dressed in a combination of traditional Balkan clothing and a lab coat, Abramović repeatedly washed a pile of bloody cow bones and sang a traditional Balkan song.

What did Marina Abramović do?

In addition to the works listed above, Marina Abramović has produced a wide range of performances that push the boundaries of traditional art. Many of her works aim to create a visceral, emotional response in the viewer. Here are a few more examples:

Lips of Thomas

Lips of Thomas was a performance that Abramović presented in 1975. During the piece, she carved a communist star into her stomach with a razor blade, then whipped herself until she lost consciousness.

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Nightsea Crossing

Nightsea Crossing was a performance that Abramović presented at MoMA PS1 in New York City in 1996. The work consisted of Abramović sitting in a boat filled with water and staring at a single point in the distance for seven hours a day, for twelve days.

Entering the Other Side

Entering the Other Side was a performance that Abramović presented in 2005 at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City. The work involved a large-scale, interactive installation that included a room filled with razor blades and a wall covered in layered cow hides.

Where is Marina Abramović now?

Marina Abramović is still an active artist and continues to produce challenging and thought-provoking work. She is currently based in New York City, where she is a professor at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to her teaching, she is also working on a memoir and planning a number of new performance works.

How old is Marina Abramović?

As of 2021, Marina Abramović is 74 years old. She continues to be an influential force in contemporary art, pushing boundaries and questioning conventions with her works.


Marina Abramović is a unique force in the world of contemporary art. Her performances challenge our perceptions of the body, the mind, and what can be considered “art.” From her early works like Rhythm 0 to her more recent performances, Abramović’s work continues to push boundaries and evoke visceral emotions in her viewers. As she continues to produce new works and inspire new generations of artists, she remains a true icon in the world of performance art.

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