Marina Abramovic

Private Archaeology in Residence

Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart | Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay, Sydney

By Peter Hill SEP 2015

I’m close to the end of my allotted 40-minute interview with Marina Abramovic´ , and I still have about a dozen questions I want to ask. We’re sitting in the Sidney Apartment (after Sidney Nolan), in the grounds of MONA, Tasmania’s break-all-the-rules Museum of Old and New Art, where she has been staying for the opening of her tightly curated survey exhibition. I pluck a final question at random, motivated as ever by pure curiosity. “Tell me about the plans for your 70th birthday?” I ask. “I hear it is to be held at the Guggenheim in New York?”

“They hosted my 60th,” she replies, “and have offered to do the same in 18 months’ time.” Her voice is quiet and soothing, but those eyes that have stared into so many strangers’ faces during her all-day The Artist is Present sessions at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) just stare straight into the back of your skull. “And I’ve promised them I’m going to learn how to pole dance! I want to pole dance on my 70th birthday.”

This fits with what she told me earlier about the three-way split in her personality. “Part of me is very regimented and drawn to rules and instructions. My mother was a major in the former Yugoslavian army [this is how she still likes to describe Serbia] and my father was a general. Our home was run like a boot camp. Then there is the part of me that likes to have fun and adventure and try ... Subscribe to read this article in full

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