2022 Abstracts Stage 2

The Appeal of Violence and Suffering in Marina Abramović’s Performance Art

Alice Mahoney, 2022, Stage 2

The use of pain, violence and suffering is a huge pattern in the performance artwork of Marina Abramović. She pushes herself to physical and mental extremes, creating shocking self-sacrificial performances. Despite this, she is one of the most renowned artists in the world, and audiences of thousands gather to see her perform. This project will investigate the reasons for this great appeal of violence and aim to demonstrate that there is a more profound experience occurring during the observation of Abramović’s suffering. The particular philosophers I am using to investigate this are Georges Bataille, with major works Theory of Religion and Erotism: Death and Sensuality. Also Julia Kristeva, with her work Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection.

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