Fine Art student Bev Sage recently had the amazing opportunity to meet and interview infamous performance artist Marina Abramović for the cultural magazine Third Way, we got an insight from Bev into her encounter.
During my final week of summer term at the Academy last year, I had an unexpected phone call from Huw Spanner, former editor of Third Way, asking if I’d like to interview the legendary performance artist Marina Abramovic.
A few months later I step out at The Chiltern Firehouse and my London cabbie yells: “Tell Abramovic’s wife I hope Chelsea wins!”
I meet 3W’s Huw Spanner and photographer Andy Firth we all jump in the lift on our way to Room 101. Marina answers the door, mid-makeup session and wearing a short white towelling dressing gown.
On yesterday’s photographic shoot an inexperienced make-up artist had used glue on her eyelids. Today 3W’s first–ever-make-up artist uses soothing creams to remove the glue and gently heal the damage.
My first impression of Marina was her energy, humour and generosity of spirit.
A sense of fun surrounded her impressive physical presence, and as we talked photographs, she grabbed her iPad and excitedly showed us all the glamorous cover shots she’d done over the past few years. She was welcoming, playful, amusing, and flirtatious. “Let’s do the interview on the bed, be informal and enjoy our time together.”
We’re just about to begin, no words or photographs in the can, when there’s a knock on the door and the 10am interviewer, a journalist from the Economist, arrived, suited and booted. Marina commandingly told him to sit in the corner until she was finished with us – she was in no hurry, a huge relief; he meekly did.
We talked of childhood memories, politics, the development of her practice, her work as a performance artist, her body, and her relatively recent international status. Her warmth and playful girlishness mixed with a sharp intelligence and focus when she talked about her legacy and her work, to which she is 100% committed.
I commented on her ‘A’ list celebrity and the effect of working with pop icons such as Jay Z and Lady Gaga. She laughed: “I’m 67 years old. Do you think after a lifetime of hard work that’s going to change me now?”
After a hug and a kiss we emerged, all totally in love with her. We decided to head onto The Lisson Gallery where her latest exhibition allowed us to be present with the artist for just a little bit longer.
She whispered in White Space “I love you.”
And we believed her.