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Marina Abramović: Marina's first performance

Marina Abramović talks about her first performance, when she was a child. 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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  • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Dayvyd
    In what context could this have been considered her first performance, or any performance at all?
    (3 votes)
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  • male robot hal style avatar for user R3hall
    At she talks about her nose. What's wrong with it?! Her mother seemed to like it. A prominent nose on a women is very becoming and lovely. In some cultures, it's highly regarded. There is nothing wrong with her nose. What's the problem?!
    (0 votes)
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Video transcript

Marina: My first performance was not in a (laughs) It was nothing to do with art, but I consider it was the first performance. I really, really was very ugly as a child and I had this terrible haircut over the ears and I wore orthopedic shoes and I have a child face with a huge nose. It was impossible for me to even look at myself in the mirror. I always asked my mother if she can go to the doctor with me and we operate the nose and every time she would slap my face and say, "Out of the question." One day, I really made this perfect plan. I was absolutely fascinated with Brigitte Bardot, so I took photographs from newspaper and I had all the photos of Brigitte Bardot in my pocket and I had this plan of spinning around fast, fast, fast, falling on the edge of the bed was sharp, break my nose, then we go to hospital, then I have Brigitte Bardot photos already in the pockets, so in the case of, "There's no time. We can fix it." I spin around, I miss the whole thing, I almost gave myself a cut and all the photographs of Brigitte Bardot fall on the floor and my mother arrive in the room and just slap my face. It was end of the Brigitte Bardot story. I consider this pretty much as the first performance.