It’s been nearly two years since Marina Abramović made her appearance at the shoot for Jay Z’s “Picasso Baby” music video, but the events of that day are still fresh in her mind.
“In the end it was only a one-way transaction,” she recently told Vienna-based art magazine Spike. “I will never do it again, that I can say. Never. I was really naive in this kind of world. It was really new to me, and I had no idea that this would happen. It’s so cruel, it’s incredible. I will stay away from it for sure.”
The grand dame of endurance-based performance art, who has become much more of a public celebrity since her 2010 Museum of Modern Art piece “The Artist Is Present,” is peeved that Jay Z hasn’t supported her gesamtkunstwerk, the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI). While James Franco and Lady Gaga have championed the MAI project and the so-called “Abramović method” that will be taught there, the famous MC was apparently impervious to Abramović’s enticing and hypnotic … PowerPoint presentation?
“The day before, he came to my office and I gave him an entire PowerPoint presentation and said: OK, you can help me, because I really need help to build this thing,” Abramović told Spike. “Then he just completely used me. And that wasn’t fair … I am very pissed by this, since he adapted my work only under one condition: that he would help my institute. Which he didn’t.” (Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, founder of the art gallery Salon 94 and producer of the “Picasso Baby” video, claims he did.)
The rest of the interview — which includes “questions” like this gem: “When you rubbed your forehead with Jay-Z’s, it seemed like an economical transaction: I grant you the right to use my piece, but in reverse you have to provide a space for my brand within your campaign” — is worth reading if only because Abramović is uncharacteristically candid about how her work and image have changed since the MoMA blockbuster. As for the “Picasso Baby” debacle, it wouldn’t take much for Jay Z (who dropped $4.5 million on Basquiat a few months after touching foreheads with Abramović) to right the situation. Besides, there must be some naming rights still up for grabs at MAI; who wouldn’t want to rehydrate, after a grueling Abramović method session, in the “Blue Ivy Carter Water Drinking Chamber”?
Update, 5/21, 9:55am ET: The Marina Abramović Institute has issued a formal apology to Jay Z and Abramović, explaining that the rapper had in fact donated money to the MAI project. The statement, publish by the New York Times, reads:
Marina Abramovic was not informed of Shawn “Jay Z” Carter’s donation from two years ago when she recently did an interview with Spike Magazine in Brazil. We are sincerely sorry to both Marina Abramovic and Shawn “Jay Z” Carter for this, and since then we have taken to appropriate actions to reconcile this matter.
From music and architecture to comedy and horror, these films showcase Ukrainian culture and its long-held ethos of resistance.
A new exhibition focuses on Hesse’s works on paper, and the way they demonstrate the role of drawing in the famed sculptor’s process.
Part of the university’s Artists on the Future series featuring renowned artists and cultural thought leaders, this online event is free and open to the public.
The artists showcased in Archival Intimacies examine the colonial trauma’s impact on Asian Americans and search for ways to overcome it.
Eiffel inadvertently paints its protagonist not as a great man worthy of scrutiny or praise, but as the Elon Musk of his day.
This illustrated guide offers readers a broad and accessible introduction to the evolution of Armenian modern and contemporary art.
The fire-resistant copy will be auctioned to raise funds for PEN America.
Funded projects include an exhibition of contemporary and historical retablos and a residency that pairs glass artists with creators in other mediums.
This rigorous, studio-based program in Philadelphia focuses on building unique studio practices that synthesize the disciplines of printmaking, book arts, and papermaking.
Bonhams paused the sale of the rare garment, which was expected to fetch $1.2 million.
Now playing the Cannes Film Festival, the new film from the director of The Square embarks on a luxury cruise that goes to hell.
By enshrining her memories into sculptural form, Juárez celebrates her emotional pilgrimage through the growing pains of childhood to adulthood.