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Marina Abramović: "Cleaning the House" workshop

Performance artists talk about their workshop with Marina Abramović in preparation for re-performing her works at MoMA. To learn more about what artists have to say, take our online course, Modern and Contemporary Art, 1945-1989. Created by The Museum of Modern Art.

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Video transcript

- [Isabella] MOMA is doing her retrospective as part of a series of performance-art-focused exhibitions, and they're trying to create a history and a lineage that hasn't really really existed. I'm really glad that Marina is so eager to sign on and pass it onto us and train us. - [Marina] This workshop and exercises is a great way to prepare performance artists. The idea is cleaning your own body. We always used to clean the house outdoor, but indoor house never been cleaned. (gentle drumming) It's really interesting to see how the performance can be present in a museum life. There will be reperformance of five of my performances by the young performance artists, who are doing this workshop right now. - This week has been intense, difficult, enlightening, ecstatic, and blissful. And at times, very frustrating as well. (metronome ticks) - [Isabella] Doing exercises like a three-hour slowness exercise and sleeping in the same quarters combined with not speaking with this group of people, but being physically very vulnerable because we were naked in front of each other sometimes, and I feel like cemented us as a group in a way that we couldn't do with five meetings where we were talking. - I didn't quite know what it would be like to eat gold, but it was actually delicious. (laughs) - [Rebecca] I had never eaten gold before. I wondered, "Could I possibly be allergic to this "or how will my body react after not having eaten "for a few days?" - [Marina] It's for me very important to be part of this workshop because, I, in my own real life, I'm not so disciplinated, but I need a structure and that structure, it's given by this workshop. I really like to thank you for doing this with me, and it's not been easy. And there was moments of crisis, I know, but in the end, you've been wonderful. You've done everything right. And incredibly happy and proud.