Marina Abramovic: Manifesto

In a traditional sense, NO this isn’t a “teaching tool.” This is a “manifesto” of ideas of how an artist should and should not live their lives — something most contemporary artists should look at for advice. Also, I strongly feel this would be a great starting point for upper level students, just to get their brains moving. Take what you would like from it, I have.

enjoy!

-Cor

1. An artist’s conduct in his life: 
– An artist should not lie to himself or others
– An artist should not steal ideas from other artists
– An artist should not compromise for themselves or in regards to the art market
– An artist should not kill other human beings 
– An artist should not make themselves into an idol 
– An artist should not make themselves into an idol 
– An artist should not make themselves into an idol 

2. An artist’s relation to his love life: 
– An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist 
– An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist 
– An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist 

3. An artist’s relation to the erotic: 
– An artist should develop an erotic point of view on the world 
– An artist should be erotic 
– An artist should be erotic 
– An artist should be erotic 

4. An artist’s relation to suffering: 
– An artist should suffer
– From the suffering comes the best work
– Suffering brings transformation 
– Through the suffering an artist transcends their spirit 
– Through the suffering an artist transcends their spirit 
– Through the suffering an artist transcends their spirit 

5. An artist’s relation to depression:
– An artist should not be depressed 
– Depression is a disease and should be cured 
– Depression is not productive for an artist
– Depression is not productive for an artist 
– Depression is not productive for an artist

 
6. An artist’s relation to suicide: 
– Suicide is a crime against life 
– An artist should not commit suicide 
– An artist should not commit suicide 
– An artist should not commit suicide 

7. An artist’s relation to inspiration: 
– An artist should look deep inside themselves for inspiration 
– The deeper they look inside themselves, the more universal they become 
– The artist is universe 
– The artist is universe 
– The artist is universe 

8. An artist’s relation to self-control: 
– The artist should not have self-control about his life
– The artist should have total self-control about his work
– The artist should not have self-control about his life 
– The artist should have total self-control about his work 

9. An artist’s relation with transparency: 
– The artist should give and receive at the same time 
– Transparency means receptive 
– Transparency means to give 
– Transparency means to receive 
– Transparency means receptive 
– Transparency means to give 
– Transparency means to receive 
– Transparency means receptive 
– Transparency means to give 
– Transparency means to receive 

10. An artist’s relation to symbols: 
– An artist creates his own symbols 
– Symbols are an artist’s language 
– The language must then be translated 
– Sometimes it is difficult to find the key 
– Sometimes it is difficult to find the key 
– Sometimes it is difficult to find the key

11. An artist’s relation to silence: 
– An artist has to understand silence 
– An artist has to create a space for silence to enter his work 
– Silence is like an island in the middle of a turbulent ocean 
– Silence is like an island in the middle of a turbulent ocean 
– Silence is like an island in the middle of a turbulent ocean 

12. An artist’s relation to solitude: 
– An artist must make time for the long periods of solitude 
– Solitude is extremely important 
– Away from home 
– Away from the studio 
– Away from family
– Away from friends 
– An artist should stay for long periods of time at waterfalls 
– An artist should stay for long periods of time at exploding volcanoes 
– An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at the fast running rivers 
– An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at the horizon where the ocean and sky meet 
– An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at the stars in the night sky 

13. An artist’s conduct in relation to work: 
– An artist should avoid going to the studio every day
– An artist should not treat his work schedule as a bank employee does 
– An artist should explore life and work only when an idea comes to him in a dream or during the day as a vision that arises as a surprise 
– An artist should not repeat himself 
– An artist should not overproduce 
– An artist should avoid his own art pollution 
– An artist should avoid his own art pollution 
– An artist should avoid his own art pollution

 
14. An artist’s possessions: 
– Buddhist monks advise that it is best to have nine possessions in their life:
1 robe for the summer
1 robe for the winter 
1 pair of shoes 
1 begging bowl for food 
1 mosquito net 
1 prayer book 
1 umbrella 
1 mat to sleep on 
1 pair of glasses if needed 
– An artist should decide for himself the minimum personal possessions they should have 
– An artist should have more and more of less and less 
– An artist should have more and more of less and less 
– An artist should have more and more of less and less

15. A list of an artist’s friends: 
– An artist should have friends that lift their spirits 
– An artist should have friends that lift their spirits 
– An artist should have friends that lift their spirits 

16. A list of an artist’s enemies: 
– Enemies are very important 
– The Dalai Lama has said that it is easy to have compassion with friends but much more difficult to have compassion with enemies 
– An artist has to learn to forgive 
– An artist has to learn to forgive 
– An artist has to learn to forgive

 
17. Different death scenarios: 
– An artist has to be aware of his own mortality 
– For an artist, it is not only important how he lives his life but also how he dies 
– An artist should look at the symbols of his work for the signs of different death scenarios
– An artist should die consciously without fear 
– An artist should die consciously without fear 
– An artist should die consciously without fear 

18. Different funeral scenarios: 
– An artist should give instructions before the funeral so that everything is done the way he wants it 
– The funeral is the artist’s last art piece before leaving 
– The funeral is the artist’s last art piece before leaving 
– The funeral is the artist’s last art piece before leaving

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About utagtateaching

This blog is dedicated to providing resources to the Graduate Teaching Assistants in the UTA MFA program pertaining to teaching strategies, methods, and materials. We aim to start a public discussion that serves to enhance the classroom experience for both teacher and student.

2 comments

  1. I love this! I try to read it to students all the time!

    Like

  2. Christine Heimerman

    Wow, this so honest and poignant. I really enjoyed Marina read of her manifesto.

    Like

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