The Nothingness of Marina Abramovic


If you’ve always sensed some nothingness in the work of celebrated performance diva artist Marina Abramovic, you’ll be glad to know it’s official.

Discussing her new work at the Serpentine Gallery, her first since The Artist is Present, she says:

I had this vision of an empty gallery — nothing there.

So far, so good. So radical and avant garde! Her show is called  “512 Hours,” the amount of time she will be present at the gallery, where patrons will enter an empty room and do nothing, or something.

There is just me. And the public. It is insane what I try to do.

Oh Marina, you kook! You bring the nothing, and we love you for it! Well, I don’t, but whatever.The gallery’s curators have received a number of letters, accusing Abramovic and the gallery of failing to acknowledge the work of Mary Ellen Carroll, a New York-based conceptual artist who has been working on a project called “Nothing” since 1984, describing it as “an engagement with the public.”

The Serpentine’s curator admits that many artists (including John Cage and Yoko Ono) have explored the relationship between art and nothingness. The matter is far from settled but Abramovic has responded a bit defensively:

It’s not that I’m doing nothing — quite the opposite. It’s just that there is nothing except people in the space.

See, you idiots? You fucking philistines! Back off. Get out of her grille.

I like this paragraph about Marina, from a profile at CNN online: “She has danced with Jay Z in his music video, counts James Franco and Lady Gaga as loyal fans and friends, and was named as one of Time Magazine’s most influential people of 2014.”

I think it sums up her place in our culture, although I also believe there was a time when she was a genuine artist with something to say.

Meanwhile, if you want, you can watch her sell out to Adidas, below.


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12 Responses to The Nothingness of Marina Abramovic

  1. TinLizzie says:

    This is bullshit. I work time as an impressionistic oil painter and I work hard to produce good work and to always be learning. Is she learning? No, she’s preening and sucking up to popular people because she lives to seek their validation. I don’t earn more money than I spend on my supplies but the vision, effort, seeking constructive critique, continuing education, toil and passion, buying paint before anything else and hoping against all odds that someone will value my paintings are what makes me an artist. I can also produce something that can hang on a wall and people can be moved by, or not. I enjoyed the Marina Abramovic documentary as entertainment but not “art”. Rant over, it’s a sore subject for me (i.e.Jeffrey Kooning) She’s kind of like reality TV for the 1%

  2. Gretchen says:

    reminds me way too much of the emperor has no clothes story. how gullible and very sad are people that call this art.

  3. ali says:

    I really love this image by MA. And her much publicized museum reunion with ex-performer/husband made me cry (but EVERYTHING makes me cry including The Bachelor) so…. I can’t say she is completely nothing. but as far as I can see, all she is now is an INSANE FASHION MUSE.

  4. Dj says:

    I loathe the concept of performance art or whatever it is called! A stick in the middle of the floor surrounded by rusted wire…I went to the Tate Modern for that crap!! I have known “artists”who put together little cheesy FridaKahlo shrines and they become Whitney museum artists in residents! Wtf! I was doing cheesy Frida Kahlo in 1970 before anyone heard of her (went to school in Mexico…). Anyway, they are shams, assholes and have become darling of a desperate corrupt art world.
    “Darling, I simply LOVE that pile of pubic hair on top of vintage Barbies head, it’s only $27,000”
    “Yes my love, in fact it will compliment the big pile of gold leafed bullshit over there for $18,000″…..

  5. deb* says:

    I don’t get it? But then I didn’t get the jacket bag from a previous blog either.
    If she can pull it off then good luck to her tho. A classic case of being famous for doing nothing.

  6. Andra says:

    Gretchen, you are so right.
    This is just crap and I can’t believe I read it – well, some of it anyway. Recognising it as crap I gave up halfway through.
    Why am I even bothering to respond?
    Dunno! Mostly, I think it’s because I have 2 minutes to spare before I leave the building.

  7. dust says:

    I share my country of origin with Marina. On that first picture she’s wearing the cross from the WWI, like she doesn’t know its blunt nationalistic connotations. Only an utterly ignorant person can put this on and wear it as accessory.

    Marina’s nothingness is false, she has massive ego and is incredibly self righteous. That’s plenty! Of crap.

  8. dust says:

    Oh, no, my mistake, that’s her Austrian Decoration for Science and Art . Yep,
    I’m as ignorant! I don’t even have ego to fill the void…….

  9. Suspended says:

    I think she’s a dick! I know, not exactly eloquently put, but she is.

    Because I’m feeling extra unkind I’d also like to mention her weird deep fried hand and her lumpy space face. A woman of her years shouldn’t Sharpie her eyebrows either.

    …and your hair is nicer than hers, Sister. Please start “pretentious cunt of the week” just for this dick. I will design her a new “pretentious cunt” decoration to wear around her head shaft. It shall be shaped like a pair of choking hands.

  10. Dj says:


  11. Eek says:

    I totally don’t get her Serpentine show.

    What struck me with the Adidas ad was that she won: she prob got zillion dollars for ad, but they got nothing from her really, except a lesson in how to quickly remove material objects during a fire.

  12. MaryMary says:

    This kind of bullshit is why I quit art school.

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