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Marina Abramović: Teaching the next generation

Marina Abramović talks about teaching a new generation of performance artists. 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

(indistinct chatter) It is my duty to teach young generation about the experience in a performance. And I really think this is a part of my work as an artist; a kind of duty and responsibility. - She is probably one of the best teachers I've ever had, in just this one week. - So there's always that suspended animation not quite knowing what to expect next. - And her criticism can be, it goes down with a spoonful of honey, literally for some people, but it really does come from a place where she is not taking, she's just giving. And with a lot of people, artists especially, that get to a level like, "Oh, I'm having my own show at the MoMA", can get that important feeling when you're around them. She relates to you like we're all just children in the playground. - Performance is all about the dialogue, energy dialogue, and being present in here and now. Audience is like a dog; they can feel immediately that you are afraid; that you are insecure; that you're not in the right state of mind. And they just leave; all tension is gone. - Learning my potential for concentration, Marina really showed us how to find it. - The challenges really, to maintain this level of mind and body cleanse, and she's definitely given us the tools to be able to do that when the time comes. But these are things that are gonna be very challenging in New York City. - She already put us through much more difficult circumstances than we will face in the performance. I'm not gonna wait until my first performance date to see what's it's like to stand for 2 1/2 hours. - It's real lots of work to do with yourself and your mind. And people think, "Oh, that's easy, just standing there and that's it." But it's not like that. It's very much demanding.