“Failure is something that we have to embrace” – Marina Abramovic on James Franco and trying everything (Mono.Kultur #35). Magazine



By Mark Tan 11 December 2013

As it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post, I’d like to take the opportunity to break the silence by introducing a magazine that Allscript has just brought in – Mono.Kultur.


For the unacquainted, Mono.Kulturis an interview magazine that features some of the purest editorial content we’ve seen. Fresh from Berlin, each issue features one interview with one artist. Straight up, unadulterated conversation. 


The current issue (#35) features an interview with famous performance artist, Marina Abramovic, in which she talks about a myriad of art and industry related topics, including the creation of the Marina Abramovic Institute (the Institute). (For the unfamiliar, Abramovic has been making performance art for over 40 years – a famous example is Rhythm o where she offered the audience an assortment of 72 objects and allowed them to interact with her in any way they chose during the six – hour performance, while she remained completely passive.)


Amongst the many engaging parts of the interview, there are a couple which were of particular interest to me. 


The first is the concept behind the Institute, which according to Abramovic, requires visitors to spend at least 6 hours in there, whilst wearing headphones that block out all sound. If you’re ADHD like I am, you’ll probably kill yourself after 30 minutes (I guess that counts as art?). Otherwise, I think it’s an interesting concept. Kinda forces you to slow down and appreciate life a little more – an activity that’s often lost in the milieu of our hectic lives, and which most of us are guilty of taking for granted.


The second would be Abramovic’s take on how art and commerce should interact. Abramovic argues that there’s nothing wrong between radical artists working with big commercial brands – and I can’t help but agree. I mean, extrapolating this to a more familiar context, I’m sure quite a few of you have attended an art event that’s sponsored by [insert well known alcoholic beverage brand here].


Interestingly, Abramovic illustrates her point by talking about her fascination with James Franco. That despite him being a big time Hollywood actor (you can’t get any more commercial than that), he’s accomplished an incredible array of things outside of his chosen media (he’s written books, worked with students, done performance), and in the process, garnered a lot of criticism for it.


Importantly, the criticism and the increased scrutiny has not stopped him from trying new things, and I think that this is especially inspiring when you think about how fixated on success our society has become.


Often times, we’re so afraid of failure that we forget to try, and the world is thus poorer for it. 


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Order a copy of Mono.Kultur today.




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