“When it came to art, I only cared about content: what a work meant… I had come to believe that art must be disturbing, art must ask questions, art must predict the future. If art is just political, it becomes like newspaper. It can be used once, and the next day it’s yesterday’s news. Only layers of meaning can give long life to art — that way, society takes what it needs from the work over time.”
Artists are my favourite kind of people, not just in the wonderful ways they perceive things but how they put it out for the world to experience. Walk Through Walls is an excellent book for an honest insight into the obsessions of an artistic genius not just in her drive to create art but in her personal life too. You wouldn’t find too many non-artsy people whose breakup ritual involves walking from the opposite ends of the Great Wall of China and meet at the centre to part ways! As I said, favourite kind of people!
Her story is yet another example of people in history who turn their sufferings into tales. Today, the world knows Marina Abramovic as the godmother of performance art and for good reason. This memoir is a record of all that she faced during her journey upwards, including her childhood, her no-so-ideal parents and an extremely privileged lifestyle that she talks of without much sentiment. The soul of this book is the single-minded purpose she finds in her work. Not her personal life. Not her fame. It’s all about her perception, her art and her ideas. Her following quote from the book is the essence of her entire journey:
“When there is turbulence on an airplane, I shake with fear. I start composing my last will and testament. But when it comes to my work, I cast caution to the winds.”