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is half way through her residency at Londons 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. Its utterly immersive and thought provoking; we urge you to visit.
Last night, as part of Illycaffés 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 Im here on this planet and what my life is for. Of course [elements of my work] are not pleasant and its painful but I dont care, because whats 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, theres nothing else in my life. With this performance, I have to be rigorous and unbelievably strict. Im not married and I dont have children and this is because theres no way that I could do all of this with a normal family life, so I gave all of this up.
I really love Riccardo Tisci. In the last seven years I havent bought any clothes because he send me things and I love to wear them. Hes turning 40 soon and hes in Ibiza celebrating. Im so sorry Im going to miss his birthday because Im here. Hes getting a present from me though: a very special object to help him relax. Hes an incredibly creative person and we are always looking for the avenue that we can walk together. We still dont know when or where but its going to happen.
The Serpentine Summer Party
Five Minutes With Tracey Emin