Torn from easyJet’s latest in-flight magazine issue, an interview with Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic:
You’re known for doing crazy stuff, but your latest piece is just you in a room for eight hours a day, six days a week. What’s happening?
“After 40 years of being an artist, I really want to see if I can work with just energy. It could fail, so I guess that’s why it’s worth doing. I’ve never been in a space where there is nothing.”
What do you hope to achieve?
“People are so lost these days, there’s a need for this transmission of energy at the moment. They are full of so much pain and direct contact with an artist is not there. Artists become celebrities and are untouchable.”
How can you do this by saying and doing nothing?
“We can alert our powers of telepathy. For the past year, Russian and American scientists have measured my brain waves. They have proved that when you’re looking at a total stranger, without saying one word, you’re sending subconscious information to each other. So you can actually know more about somebody without saying one word than while having a conversation. It’s cheaper than a telephone.”
In past performances, you’ve cut yourself, taken drugs and allowed strangers to hurt you. Why?
“Terrible events can make tremendous change, like terminal disease, an accident, someone from your family dying. People never change from happiness. I’m not waiting for this kind of event. I’m staging difficult situation in the form of the performance.”