tv HAR Dtalk BBC News March 29, 2021 4:30am-5:01am BST
to an attack by islamist militants on the north—eastern town of palma. a security spokesman said dozens of people had been killed by the insurgents, but hundreds of others — including foreign gas workers — had been rescued. the mexican government has acknowledged that the true number of coronavirus deaths in the country is 60% higher than previously reported. based on excess mortality data, it's now thought that more than 320,000 mexicans have died as a result of the pandemic. in myanmar, troops have opened fire at a funeral for one of the 114 people killed in a crackdown on saturday. the european union and the united states have stepped up their criticism of the military for using deadly force against protesters.
now on bbc news, hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk. i'm stephen sackur. most of the art loveis stephen sackur. most of the art love is presented via a medium, be it a canvas, a recording or celluloid. but my guess today is an artist whose primary is resource is her own body. marina abramovic is the well�*s most famous and acclaimed performance artist. in the course of a remarkable career, she has pushed herself to the very limits of physical endurance and stern —— stirred intense reaction from audiences confronting her eye to eye. her art and life are one, so what do they tell us?
marina abramovic in upstate new york, welcome to hardtalk. hello, everybody. it’s york, welcome to hardtalk. hello, everybody.— hello, everybody. it's a pleasure _ hello, everybody. it's a pleasure to _ hello, everybody. it's a pleasure to have - hello, everybody. it's a pleasure to have you i hello, everybody. it's a| pleasure to have you on hello, everybody. it's a - pleasure to have you on the programme and i want to begin, ifi programme and i want to begin, if i may, with the relationship you have with your audience, with your viewer, because it seems to me there can be no more intimate relationship than the one that you forge with the people who come to see your work, because you are literally eye to eye or even skin to skin. do you relish that? you know, skin. do you relish that? you know. so _ skin. do you relish that? you know, so many— skin. do you relish that? you know, so many artists - skin. do you relish that? 7m. know, so many artists with performance backgrounds have a different approach to the public. some of them actually don't need the public, they go into a kind of zone and it doesn't matter how many people
are watching them, but i'm not one of them. for me, every single person in the audience, every single person, it's important and matters. and i have to keep relationship, emotional, physical, mental, with them. emotional, physical, mental, with them-— with them. but that requires extraordinary _ with them. but that requires extraordinary levels - with them. but that requires extraordinary levels of - with them. but that requires i extraordinary levels of energy. i'm just thinking perhaps of your most famous performance work of all, the artist is present. it went around the world but began at the museum of modern art in new york city and literally thousands of people took to a chair right opposite you and you require them to stare deep into your eyes and you would stare right back and you did that day after day after day. what kind of stamina and energy does that take? �* .,, stamina and energy does that take? �* , ., , take? almost three months! 716.5 take? almost three months! 7165 hours _ take? almost three months! 716.5 hours and _ take? almost three months! 716.5 hours and every - take? almost three months! 716.5 hours and every single| 716.5 hours and every single minute i felt in my body. i think that was kind of supernatural because looking back, i don't even believe i
made this work because every day was so painful and so difficult that i would think was the last day and i remember when i suggested this performance to the curator who corrects my show in moma, clouse, he said to me you want to do this in your work? the chair will be almost empty, i don't know why you want to do that. and i said i don't care if it is empty or not, i will go there and see what happens and really, a miracle happened. what is it about you and pain because so many of your most famous works and experiences have involved extreme experience and very painful experience.— experience and very painful exerience. ., ~ ., ., experience. you know, the human beinu experience. you know, the human bein: is experience. you know, the human being is always — experience. you know, the human being is always afraid _ experience. you know, the human being is always afraid of— experience. you know, the human being is always afraid of three - being is always afraid of three things — mike suffering, pain and the polarity of his life, and the polarity of his life, and as a performance artist, i stage these difficulties in front of the public and i go through them in my personal way. and i want to be a mirror
to the public. if i can do this, they can do it too. and then you come on the other side, free of the pain and free from the fear. and this is a really incredible feeling. crosstalk.— really incredible feeling. crosstalk. ~ ., , really incredible feeling. crosstalk. ., , a, crosstalk. we have ability, all of us to do _ crosstalk. we have ability, all of us to do that. _ crosstalk. we have ability, all of us to do that. but _ crosstalk. we have ability, all of us to do that. but isn't - of us to do that. but isn't there a — of us to do that. but isn't there a danger— of us to do that. but isn't there a danger when - of us to do that. but isn't there a danger when you | of us to do that. but isn't - there a danger when you push it to extremes, as i guess you may agree with me you do, that the audience is more taken with the sort of the sensation and the drama of it and the deeper meaning. i'm thinking for example in your rhythm series which he did when you were pretty young, i believe you started the rhythm series in your later 20s, you put your body through enormous stresses, i think in one of that series you sort of put your body inside a star and then you set the thing on fire and at one point, you passed out and the doctor had to leap from the audience and save you. you are kind of close to death. you know, is that art is that
hydrometer?— know, is that art is that hydrometer? know, is that art is that h drometer? ., ~ ., �* , know, is that art is that h drometer? ., ~ ., �*, ., hydrometer? you know, it's not hydrometer. — hydrometer? you know, it's not hydrometer, why _ hydrometer? you know, it's not hydrometer, why don't - hydrometer? you know, it's not hydrometer, why don't we - hydrometer? you know, it's not hydrometer, why don't we look| hydrometer, why don't we look at all civilisations and all rituals of the countries, aboriginals from australia or summons from brazil and indonesia, who actually go through extremes with her body in ceremonies for the same reason to get actually to other altered state of consciousness —— hi drama. this is no need to shock the people, it is about ridding yourself of fears that we all have.— ridding yourself of fears that we all have. marina, what do ou we all have. marina, what do you take _ we all have. marina, what do you take of _ we all have. marina, what do you take of us _ we all have. marina, what do you take of us human - we all have. marina, what do you take of us human beings| we all have. marina, what do - you take of us human beings who come to look at you and immerse ourselves in your work, and i'm thinking again of one of your rhythm series, i think it was your rhythm series, when you actually placed yourself in a space and you placed nearby objects, more than 70 objects, including a gun, a bullet, a knife and other instruments that could really hurt you, and you invited the public to do whatever they wanted with those instruments on your body. and some of them did some pretty
terrifying things. what did you make of the public at that moment?— make of the public at that moment? . , , ., ., make of the public at that moment? . , ., ., moment? yeah, but you have to see circumstances. _ moment? yeah, but you have to see circumstances. this - see circumstances. this was the 70s and i was 2a years old and i was fed up with the relationship to the public, to the performance art, thinking this is art, this kind of art was ridiculed by the large criticism, and also the public. and i wanted to do something really radical. if i'm there and all objects you can use on me and i'm taking all responsibility, what is going to happen, and i remember! responsibility, what is going to happen, and i remember i did this performance only once and at the end of this exercise, i knew the public could kill you. it's not me who's going to kill myself because i don't want to, it's the public who can kill you. and then 25 years later, i made a difference performance, the artist is present, with different rules, that you can sit in front of me as long as you want, stare into my eyes and just be there in the present. and then a miracle
happens — the public waited for hours and hours to come to sit in front of me and you know, they are filmed, they are watched by the other audience and also by me. there was nowhere to go except into themselves. and they went into themselves. they started crying and the emotions came up and it was highly emotional work. we had 850,000 people coming in and experiencing that. i’m and experiencing that. i'm interested _ and experiencing that. i'm interested in _ and experiencing that. i'm interested in this - and experiencing that. i'm interested in this emotional level, the intensity of it in your work, level, the intensity of it in yourwork, because level, the intensity of it in your work, because it seems to me it is notjust about what your work, because it seems to me it is not just about what we usually talk about which is the audience being transformed by a piece of art. it seems to me you also get transformed by your art because you are a participant in it and just going back to the one where you put these objects in front and invited people to use them on your body, did you emerge transformed in the sense that perhaps, it gave you a very, very bleak view of human nature because frankly, some people
had pretty much abused and tortured you.— tortured you. first of all, every performance - tortured you. first of all, | every performance brings tortured you. first of all, - every performance brings me to a new experience and every performance is important in my life, a new step for the next piece. and you know, it's transformative. i really think that the most important thing in my life is a long duration of performance work and when i performed the artist is present, before that i worked in china for three months and i worked for 12 days without eating and performance in moma was three months so when i stood up from the chair, i was not the same anymore. the transformation is enormous but the public and the performer doing it, two of us, public and men created the work together. if we can't exist without each other. ., ~ if we can't exist without each other. ., ,, , ., ,., . ,, if we can't exist without each other. ., ,, , ., . ,, ., other. let me take you back a little bit in — other. let me take you back a little bit in your— other. let me take you back a little bit in your life _ other. let me take you back a little bit in your life because l little bit in your life because your background is fascinating and again, i see connections
with your fascination with pain in your childhood because you've written about your childhood and it clearly was very troubled and your relationship with your parents who were both members of the parties and fighting force, fighting the nazis in world war ii, then members of the socialist elite in tito's yugoslavia, your relationship with them, particularly with your mum, it was very difficult and it was full of pain, wasn't it? ., and it was full of pain, wasn't it? a, a, , a, , and it was full of pain, wasn't it? a, a, , , it? yeah, it really was being in the military _ it? yeah, it really was being in the military service. - it? yeah, it really was being in the military service. my i in the military service. my mother would wake up with me in the middle of the night if my bed was too messy when i slept and i had to make the bed and go back to sleep. so now when i go back to sleep. so now when i go to hotels, able don't even know i was there because ijust open the bed, sleep and close the bed and it looks untouched! i am really well—trained! you i am really well-trained! you are either— i am really well-trained! you are either well-trained - i am really well—trained! you are either well—trained or traumatised. sometimes when i read your memoirs, also when i look at your work, i wonder if
you are a traumatised person. but you know, it's so interesting that everybody wanted with my work put this point of view of being traumatised, you know, i kind of abusive childhood on that. all of these things, it served a purpose, to make my work as i am doing now because to make this kind of performance work you need extreme willpower which i got from my parents. you need extreme dedication and you need motivation why you are doing this and the only reason why i'm doing this is through my work is to really try to lift the human spirit so all of these things, it's not the most shocking, it's about transformation. �* . ., �* transformation. again, i don't want to sound _ transformation. again, i don't want to sound like _ transformation. again, i don't want to sound like a - want to sound like a psychologist but... want to sound like a -s cholouist but... �* ,, ., psychologist but... but you do! you do! psychologist but. .. but you do! you do! i— psychologist but... but you do! you do! i do. — psychologist but. .. but you do! you do! i do, all— psychologist but... but you do! you do! i do, all right, - psychologist but. .. but you do! you do! i do, all right, i- psychologist but... but you do! you do! i do, all right, iwill. you do! i do, all right, iwill be a pop — you do! i do, all right, iwill be a pop psychologist. - you do! i do, all right, iwill be a pop psychologist. your| you do! i do, all right, iwill- be a pop psychologist. your mum gave you very little physical affection and i think she barely ever kissed you. and you do crave to be at the centre of
attention and to be loved, i guess. is that part of it? we associate that with performance and you are a performance artist. �* ., .,~ artist. but you cannot make me uuil for artist. but you cannot make me guilty for that- _ artist. but you cannot make me guilty for that. i _ artist. but you cannot make me guilty for that. i think _ artist. but you cannot make me guilty for that. i think it - artist. but you cannot make me guilty for that. i think it is - guilty for that. i think it is such a normal human actual need and you know i need to be loved ljy and you know i need to be loved by my public and also by my students which i also in the institute which we run, which is the marina abramovic institute, we teach young performance artists. so you know, i have this ocean of love which is wonderful and so, i don't miss this mother love, i missed it when i was young and when i asked why she never kissed me when i was four years old, she was so surprised by the question. she said i never stop to think about it, i didn't want to spoil you. she didn't want to spoil you. she did not spoil me, that is for sure. ., ., , ., , sure. you will raise not 'ust b our sure. you will raise not 'ust by your parents * sure. you will raise not 'ust by your parents of�* sure. you will raise notjust by your parents of course . sure. you will raise notjust i by your parents of course but you were raised by a socialist collective ideology as well and
ijust collective ideology as well and i just wonder whether your determination as a young woman in your 20s to push artistic boundaries, to use your own body and even your naked body which scandalised belgrade, i think, at the time, was a part of a rebellion against the sort of a rebellion against the sort of conformity of demanded by tito's socialism?— tito's socialism? yeah, it was absolutely — tito's socialism? yeah, it was absolutely against _ tito's socialism? yeah, it was absolutely against the - tito's socialism? yeah, it was | absolutely against the system. i was not an easy child, i was a really black sheep in that country, and one part of my background is my grandmother who was highly spiritual and i spent my early childhood, six years old, with her. so my own background is a strange mix between communism, altruism and deep religion. so that makes me now a tibetan buddhist, what a mix! i now a tibetan buddhist, what a mix! , ., . ., mix! i in my introduction suggested _ mix! i in my introduction suggested you _ mix! i in my introduction suggested you have - mix! i in my introduction - suggested you have merged life and art but actually, the two
concepts were indistinguishable in your entire sort of existence. so let's get back to your heart and your life together because i'm thinking now of your relationships, the really intimate, personal relationships in your life, particularly perhaps a central one with the german artist ule where he and you merged your personal intimate lives and your professional artistic performances to an extent that almost unimaginable to other people. do you think, to be honest, it screwed up your relationship with him —— ulay. absolutely, that's pretty true, because at the beginning it was incredible and a dream relationship. we discovered we were born on the same day and you know, absolutely the most wonderful relationship working and living together in just a simple car, travelling like a nomad around the world for nine
years. and then the last three years, because there was a split with the great wall of china, it was really a nightmare.— china, it was really a nightmare. china, it was really a niahtmare. , .,, i. nightmare. let me stop you because i — nightmare. let me stop you because i really _ nightmare. let me stop you because i really do - nightmare. let me stop you because i really do want - nightmare. let me stop you because i really do want to | because i really do want to explore this great wall of china performance, ifi explore this great wall of china performance, if i could put it that way, because it is unlike any other art piece i've ever heard. you and he, as i understand it, planned to walk from the opposite ends of the great wall of china, which is obviously some 1200 kilometres each of walking, meet in the middle and then marry. but by the time you actually did it, you are not going to marry because you decided you were going to part for ever. first of all, going to part for ever. first of all. it's _ going to part for ever. first of all, it's 2500 _ going to part for ever. first of all, it's 2500 h, - going to part for ever. first of all, it's 2500 h, 5000 i going to part for ever. first of all, it's 2500 h, 5000 in total. know, first of all, it was 2500 kilometres each, 5000 in total. first of all, we have to get permission from china, and finally they said yes to us in the end. we never wanted to give up anything so we said,
ok, instead of walking the 0k, instead of walking the chinese wall, we wanted to walk opposite ends and get married and then we decided to walk opposite ends, meet in the middle and actually say goodbye. that was a really big, painful goodbye because at that time, i was a0 years old, lost the man i loved and lost my work because work was always together for 12 years. so this was a very difficult time in my life to rebuild myself again. let me dig even deeper into this merging of life and art because you have written very honestly about the decisions you made not to have children and you suggested that you felt as a creative, as an artistic woman, that having children would constrict your ability to be as creative and free as you wanted to be. you had abortions. looking back on it, do you think you're right, that it would have completely affected your artistic life? i affected your artistic life ? i absolutely affected your artistic life? i absolutely think i was right, i
never really wanted children, never really wanted children, never really wanted children, never really felt a need for children, neverfelt never really felt a need for children, never felt the biological clock was ticking like other women. i knew that the idea of my work is someone else and not in the family. and i am never been sorry for that. i am never been sorry for that. i havejust i am never been sorry for that. i have just been looking into the life of a woman who had children and had to wait for her husband to die for her to make a major career. ijust wanted to work. i make a major career. i 'ust wanted to worki make a major career. i 'ust wanted to work. i think at one oint, wanted to work. i think at one point. you _ wanted to work. i think at one point, you wrote _ wanted to work. i think at one point, you wrote a _ wanted to work. i think at one point, you wrote a manifesto l point, you wrote a manifesto for artistic life and it was very interesting because you suggested that the key to it was solitude, not to tie yourself to a partner, not to get married. and yet you have been married, i think twice, and you had all sorts of relationships. you have broken your own rules from time to time. ~ ., u, your own rules from time to time. ~ . u, your own rules from time to time. ~ . ., , your own rules from time to time. ~ . , , time. what can i do? nobody is erfect. perfect. (laughs) and of course, my marriage,
most marriages are very short, if was the marriage that actually in belgrade, i wanted to marry my colleague from the art academy and the main reason was that actually i could have the freedom from my mother to come home after 10pm in the evening and then we divorced after not very long. with ulay, i never married and married the italian artist and that lasted a couple of years. so not too long. i a couple of years. so not too lonu. a, a couple of years. so not too lonu. ., l, ., a couple of years. so not too lon.. ., ., long. i wanted to ask you about bel rade long. i wanted to ask you about belgrade because _ long. i wanted to ask you about belgrade because clearly, - long. i wanted to ask you about belgrade because clearly, we . belgrade because clearly, we have discussed your background and it is usually important to huge ur and yet intrigues me that in belgrade, in what we now call serbia but the former yugoslavia more generally, you perhaps aren't as lauded or as popular as people might think because you are frankly, probably the most famous artists to come out of serbia but inside belgrade, as i understand it, people are a bit ambivalent about you, maybe
because the way you have spoken about socialism and your upbringing. you resent that? you know, it is, a3 years, i never make a show in belgrade and finally the government invited me after a3 years to make my show in the new renovated museum of modern art which had been closed for more than 10 years. this was a huge thing. in my generation really doesn't like me. my generation who are really classic painters and really traditional artists could not believe that i could sit in a museum, nature, doing nothing and have all of this publicity. they couldn't get that into ahead and this will never change. and then i had record visitors in the museum, more than 5000 for the museum is a very big number in belgrade. and most of the time, 80% was very young audience. and when i was doing the lecture, the lecture auditorium had a few hundred people, they have to change locations to outside of the museum. 0utside
outside of the museum. outside of the museum, i had 6500 people, all young, who wanted to listen to me. this was incredible for me, incredibly emotional. and i knew that i have lots of admiration in the young generation. my generation, i don't think they will ever except me. you have won many _ will ever except me. you have won many prizes _ will ever except me. you have won many prizes in _ will ever except me. you have won many prizes in your - will ever except me. you have won many prizes in your life, | won many prizes in your life, from dennis another artistic centres, you have been lauded. but you have pretty serious critics and they say in recent years you have been seduced by celebrity and the spotlight of the media and you have done your performances with big stars like jay z and lady gaga. you got her involved. and maybe, some see you as a sell—out? laughs ijust had a conversation a few years ago with debbie and she said, you know, when i had no money, we are literally on the
street and couldn't pay electricity bill, we were making the music and then we started being recognised and we started being recognised and we started having the money and even made the better music than before because we had a full stomach. and then they told us we have sold out. so i think the public has this incredible nostalgic view of celebrities and who they are going to help. my and who they are going to help. my work was originally not largely publicised and known in the public. and then, after performing at moma, i did my work as always, didn't really change. but people put you, they project on you that idea of the stars and then they criticise you for it. it is just the kind of side effect of how the public perceives things. they like to put you off in a like to destroy you. but the only thing i have to do is continue doing what i am doinu. ,, , ~ is continue doing what i am doinu. ,, is continue doing what i am doinu. doing. let me ask you about lea .
doing. let me ask you about legacy- i _ doing. let me ask you about legacy. i understand - doing. let me ask you about legacy. i understand you're l legacy. i understand you're still prolific and still want to work for many years to come. i am thinking about your legacy. do you... i don't know, have a problem with fact that in other artforms, the legacy is obvious to say, it sits on the canvas, the famous painting or the celluloid film, or the words on the page of a book. it is very easy to see what an artist's legacy is but so much of your workers in that moment connection between you and living human beings as you posted on chair. we can never be re—created and therefore you don't leave behind the same sort of artistic legacy that other creators do? i sort of artistic legacy that other creators do? i don't do it the traditionally _ other creators do? i don't do it the traditionally way - other creators do? i don't do it the traditionally way but i it the traditionally way but many other traditional ways. first of all, historically pieces of art can be re— performed. we have an establishment here where we learn and teach people how to perform, reperform my work not
just mine but others as well. i am interested in preserving that art form in the first base. and secondly, there are all interesting things with technology. there is a mixed reality which actually i just created a place called the life and filmed it with a 36 mil metre film camera and create an image of myself which actually can have life inside and it can really live forever. so for a technology you can create in a material way immortality. i want to end if i may, marina, by quitting you back at your soul because it was not so long ago that you said, "there are three marinas, there is a warrior marina who can endure any pain, spiritual marina who can endure any amount of stillness, and then there is bs marina who adores the celebrity". so which is the most important marina, which ones do you want the world to remember and focus on? iie:
whole point of discovering remember and focus on? "iie: whole point of discovering the three marina is to give them space to live inside me because the public like to see the heroic one and that is the easiest to protect the public. in the public discovers later on when a person dies, the other ones and they are disappointed. in my case, i discovered all three lived very harmoniously within myself and all have the space. and that is the only important thing to show the public because in that way we can connect with vulnerability and our vulnerability and our vulnerability to that of the public and it is why you have such a connection to them because they have also, all of us, have many, many, many of us within themselves. 50 us, have many, many, many of us within themselves.— within themselves. so you share vulnerability. — within themselves. so you share vulnerability, yours _ within themselves. so you share vulnerability, yours and - within themselves. so you share vulnerability, yours and there i vulnerability, yours and there is? �* , vulnerability, yours and there is? �*y ., vulnerability, yours and there is? ., is? by exposing that, you really deeply _ is? by exposing that, you really deeply connect. - is? by exposing that, you - really deeply connect. marina abramovic. — really deeply connect. marina abramovic, it _ really deeply connect. marina abramovic, it has _ really deeply connect. marina abramovic, it has been - really deeply connect. marina abramovic, it has been a - really deeply connect. marina | abramovic, it has been a great pleasure having you on hardtalk. thank you very much. thank you so much.
hello. it is going to feel like spring through the first part of this week for many of us. in fact, in some places you'd be forgiven for thinking summer had arrived early with values up to 22 or maybe 23 degrees. but by the end of the week it will feel more like winter has returned. much colder air digging its way southward just in time for the easter weekend. and in the shorter term, north—west scotland could see localised flooding over the next couple of days as this wriggling weather front brings heavy and persistent rain. to the south of that weather front that's where we're going to be importing the very warm air but notice there is something much colder up to the north. that will come into play by the end of the week. along the line of our weather front, heavy rain particular for northern ireland and western scotland.
very, very mild to start monday morning. 12 or 13 degrees in places. but it is going to be quite cloudy, misty and murky for many. rain pulling northwards out of northern ireland and continuing across western scotland all day long. heavy rain at that. some brightness for eastern scotland and certainly some brightest skies developing across england and wales. in the best of the sunshine here across parts of eastern england for example, we could get to 20 or 21 degrees, with a little bit cooler for some english channel coasts. through monday night and on into tuesday the rain continues across north—west scotland, it's the persistence for localised flooding. the further south and east you are on tuesday though, any early mist patch as you're clear, there will be lots of sunshine and tuesday is set to be a very warm day indeed. we could get as high as 23 degrees. pretty exceptional for this point in march. not as warm further north where we keep cloud and rain. that cloud and rain on wednesday it will start to journey slowly southwards. the rain fizzling away but behind it some colder airdigging in.
still some warmth towards the south on wednesday but up to the north, temperatures taking quite the tumble. and as we move out of wednesday towards the end of the week that frontal system in the north will finally journey its way southward. high—pressure building in behind so there will still be a fair amount of dry weather but much colder weather sinking its way southwards for the end of the week. and for the easter weekend it is going to feel decidedly chilly. there could even be some wintry showers.
this is bbc news. i'm sally bundock with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. the next steps to lifting the uk lockdown: england begins to open up, but the prime minister urges caution as restrictions are eased. the case that shook the world: the man accused of george floyd's murder goes on trial in the united states. security forces in mozambique admit that dozens of people are dead after an attack by islamist militants on a northern town. and action not words: protesters take to the streets across france, demanding that lawmakers step up in the fight against climate change.
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