Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present

Marina Abramović. _Seven Easy Pieces_. Performed in 2005 for seven consecutive days for seven hours each day at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Seven-channel video (color, sound). seven hours. Day six: Marina Abramović, _Lips of Thomas,_ originally performed for two hours in 1975 at Galerie Krinzinger, Innsbruck. Photo: Attilio Maranzano. © 2010 Marina Abramović. Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Marina Abramović. Seven Easy Pieces. 2005

(Yugoslav, born 1946) Seven-channel video installation (color, sound)
7 hr.
Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery

MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ: Seven Easy Pieces took altogether twelve years to get permission to do it in the place I always wanted to do, and this is the Guggenheim Museum. Few people know that the Guggenheim Museum was built with the main purpose to show spiritual art. And for me it was really important, because the construction itself with this spiral, give possibility that the performance can be seen from the different angles and from the different perspectives and from the all sides.

But also the reasons with Seven Easy Pieces was enormous amount of anger. I was angry with MTV. I was angry with fashion. I was angry with theater, with the young performance artist, on the film, on the dance, with everybody who was taking the parts of the 70s performances, not just from my work, but from all the other artists who worked so hard in the time, and putting it in any other context, and not giving any credits where the really material comes from.

With few artists still left from the 70s generation, who is actively performing, I felt it was my function and my duty to make things right and to give some kind of lesson how should things be done properly.

So the lesson for me with Seven Easy Pieces was following, if you want to re-perform somebody's work, number one, you have to ask for permission of the artist, if he is living and if he is not living, of the foundation who's presenting him. Number two, you have to pay for this permission. Number three you have to understand the original work. And, number four, you can make your own version, but always referring to the original source.

So each piece, even if some pieces was 40 minutes or one hour or whatever short period of time it was performed, I would perform equally seven hours. So, it's seven days, Seven Easy Pieces, 49 hours.

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