Marina Abramovic - Art Must Be Beautiful (1975)
Kiam Marcelo Junio - Art Must Be Beautiful (Study), After Abramovic (2012)
Tonight, Kiam Marcelo Junio / Jerry Blossom will be re-performing Abramovic’s durational piece at Salonathon Presents: LEX-IC-A. In an effort to re-contextualize the celebrated artist’s feminist critique of the art institution and update it with current discourse around race, gender, and queer theory.
During the early and mid-1970s, Marina performed a series of works in which she “explored passive aggression, constructing the actions around her rather spectacular body.” She notes that Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful is one example of how, in the early years of performance art, female artists used their own bodies to challenge the institution of art and the notion of beauty. Marina has said in an interview that during the 1970s, “if the woman artist would apply make-up or put [on] nail polish, she would not have been considered serious enough.” Through this performance, says Stokić, Marina comments on “the commodification of art and artist by critiquing conventions of and demands for female beauty in art and contemporary culture.”