Photos by Lucie Jansch and Text by Carolina Amaris for LURVE magazine.
The Life And Death of Marina Abramovic opened in New York last week to
a sold out 10 performances at the Park Avenue Armory. The dynamic
direction of Robert Wilson takes the audience on a deep exploration of
the Artist’s difficult and sobering childhood in Yugoslavia and her
evolution into a performance artist, featuring Willem Dafoe, Marina
Abramovic, and Antony.
From the moment the audience steps foot into the dimly lit setting,
corpses lay in Bauhaus style coffins. The corpses adorned in Pierrot
style faces lay with bones underneath them and three Doberman pinchers
running around chewing and sniffing the remains. Perhaps the Artist’s
metaphor of the past, present and future?
Willem Dafoe without notice begins the production as the narrator and
her consciences, immediately taking the audience through a timeline of
Marina’s life. Willem Dafoe’s performance is didactic and raw. Through
his narration the actor delivers a deep emotional, and confrontianal
voice, setting the tone for each specific scene with a date.
Marina Abramovic plays her stoic mother who was anything but loving to
her as a child. Dressed in very matrimony black gown, Marina recreates
what her mother was like during the cold war and her disciplinary
skills that were abusive. Though never to be victim as Marina
proclaimed at a young age, she managed to still rebel and eventually
create a safe space where her mother would no longer torment her.
As the audience moves through her life the hauntingly vocals of Antony
are performed to various scenes of beautiful agony and moments of deep
introspection- such as self-mutilation and acceptance. Though most
moments’ are serious, Marina still finds comedic dialogue which
makes the audience laugh and reminds the viewer that even the Artist
remembers 1962, the date of her first menstruation or her master plan
to change her nose as a child a la Brigitte Bardot.
Although traditionally a play, Marina Ambramovic takes this medium and
creates her best work yet as a performance artist. Does Marina
literally die as the title of this work suggests? Perhaps, but as we
all know there is rebirth.