Marina Abramović
»An Artist’s Life Manifesto«

Marie Luisa Kerkhoff
Stephan Clemens
Rudi Grieser
Christel Mayr
Markus Hottgenroth


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

2. An artist’s relation to his love life:
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

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

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

6. An artist’s relation to suicide:
Suicide is a crime against life
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15. A list of an artist’s friends:
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

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

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

19. Life after death
– ?


AutorIn: Sandra Schumacher
Datum: 5.02.2021