This video always brings tears to my eyes – a great reminder of what it means to
“During the final month, as this piece became one with life itself, I started to think intensely about the purpose of my existence. Eight hundred fifty thousand people in all had stood in the atrium, seventeen thousand on the final day alone. And I was there for everyone there, whether they sat with me or not. Suddenly, out of nowhere in the world, this overwhelming need had appeared. The responsibility was enormous.
I was there for everyone who was there. A great trust had been given to me — a trust that I didn’t dare abuse, in any way. Hearts were opened to me, and I opened my heart in return, time after time after time. I opened my heart to each one, then closed my eyes — and then there was always another. My physical pain was one thing. But the pain in my heart, the pain of pure love, was far greater.
The sheer quantity of love, the unconditional love of total strangers, was the most incredible feeling I’ve ever had. I don’t know if this is art, I said to myself. I don’t know what this is, or what art is. I’d always thought of art as something that was expressed through certain tools: painting, sculpture, photography, writing, film, music, architecture. And yes, performance. But this performance went beyond performance. This was life. Could art, should art, be isolated from life? I began to feel more and more strongly that art must be life — it must belong to everybody. I felt, more powerfully than ever, that what I had created had a purpose.”
Marina Abramovic (talking about the experience at the MoMA)