The opening scene from “The Biography Remix”, 2004, directed by Michael Laub

In her 40 years as a performance artist, Marina Abramovic has been no stranger to drama. Yet she has said that she isn’t interested in theatre, because it is too fake. The hardships she creates for herself—cutting a five-pointed star into her abdomen, scrubbing bloody cow bones for hours, fasting for weeks, or sitting in a public arena without moving or speaking for 60 days straight—may not be scripted and rehearsed, but their completion can be as cathartic as Greek tragedy. What’s more, she performs these tasks before audiences who want to be entertained.

On 9 July, when The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic premieres at the 2011 Manchester International Festival, they are likely to get a blockbuster. Always in full control of each moment in her own performances, this time the Serbian-born artist will perform a theatre work created—at her request—by someone else.


Linda Yablonsky
The Art Newspaper