Object Image

Star (from the portfolio ‘Dear Stieglitz’)

Performance artists of the 1970s often employed endurance and pain as tools with which to explore bodily limits. Body artists used their own bodies as their medium and as a metaphor for the relationship between self and other, performer and spectator, art and life.

This photograph documents Marina Abramović's 1973 performance Lips of Thomas. As part of the performance, Abramović cut a star shape into her stomach. In interviews, the artist has talked about staging her fears, in a controlled way, as a means to transcend them. For Abramovic, withstanding pain in her art is part of a personal quest for emotional and spiritual transformation.

This photograph is from a portfolio titled Dear Stieglitz, in homage to Alfred Stieglitz, the photographer and gallery owner who published the art-photography journal Camera Work in the early 20th century. The portfolio features the work of artists whose photography 'shows an obvious, personal and also very outspoken attitude towards their surroundings'.

Credit: Purchased 1997

1994
Colour photographic print
40.0 x 40.0cm
GMA 4191 A
Image © Marina Abramović. Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives. DACS, London 2023
Text © National Galleries of Scotland

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