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Marina Abramović: What is performance art?

Marina Abramović talks about the difference between theatre and performance art, "performance is real.". Created by The Museum of Modern Art.

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Video transcript

- I could say the performance is the moment when the performer with his own idea step in his own mental physical construction in the front of the audience in particular time. This is not a theater. A theater will repeat. Theater replace somebody else. Theater isn't like box. Performance is real. In a theater you can cut with a knife and there is blood. The knife is not real and blood is not real. In performance the blood and the knife and the body of the performer is real. It's very hard to make a strong, illuminating, you know, work of art. I'm more interested idea I really fear about. I'm really interested in idea who change something or, you know, make me learn something. If you do things you like or you have the pleasure, you know, doing it, you'll never change. You're always in the same pattern and everything is happening the same way again and again in your life. Performance is the kind of unique form of art and is very temporary and comes and goes. And in every society it's different relation to performance. In the 70's it was body art and then disappear completely. In the 80's because the market was all focused on goods and something to sell, there was nothing to sell with the performance. It was just memory. Every time the economical crisis in the world the performers become kind of evident. I don't expect anything for myself is this expectation to be there 100%. I expect to be absolutely, whatever I do, 100%. And it is up to audience how they take it or not. And I will be-- I like them to be present, because the work is done for the audience. Without the audience the world doesn't exist. It doesn't make any meaning.