Five minutes with Marina Abramovi?

ELLE meets the artist of the moment

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Image Credit: GETTY

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Marina Abramovi? is half way through her residency at London’s Serpentine Gallery. Her exhibition - 512 hours - requires her to be present in the gallery space between 10am and 6pm, six days a week for 64 days. Abramovi?’s assistants, the visiting (silent) public and a series of common objects make up the performance piece. It’s utterly immersive and thought provoking; we urge you to visit.
Last night, as part of Illycaffé’s ongoing connection to arts and culture (they have previously worked with artists Jeff Koons and Anish Kapoor), the brand hosted an intimate event at Illy Regent Street to celebrate the self proclaimed ‘grandmother of performance art’.
Abramovi? – wearing Givenchy – talked exclusively to ELLE at the event.

On focus and making herself uncomfortable:
‘Since I was very young I have had a strong sense of purpose: why I’m here on this planet and what my life is for. Of course [elements of my work] are not pleasant and it’s painful but I don’t care, because what’s much more important is what this work can bring. It can change the consciousness of a human being, which is more important to me than my own personal comfort.’

On the intensity of her process:
‘When I decide to do a performance, there’s nothing else in my life. With this performance, I have to be rigorous and unbelievably strict. I’m not married and I don’t have children and this is because there’s no way that I could do all of this with a normal family life, so I gave all of this up.’

On friend Riccardo Tisci:
‘I really love Riccardo Tisci. In the last seven years I haven’t bought any clothes because he send me things and I love to wear them. He’s turning 40 soon and he’s in Ibiza celebrating. I’m so sorry I’m going to miss his birthday because I’m here. He’s getting a present from me though: a very special object to help him relax. He’s an incredibly creative person and we are always looking for the avenue that we can walk together. We still don’t know when or where but it’s going to happen.’

The Serpentine Summer Party

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