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When Marina Abramovic Dies: A Biography Hardcover – January 29, 2010

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When Marina Abramovic Dies: A Biography + Marina Abramovic The Artist is Present + Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; First Edition edition (January 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262232626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262232623
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #684,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"[This book] is illuminating, well illustrated (100 photographs), and extremely thorough. It is also a great read." -- Elizabeth Otto, Women's Art Journal

"Westcott has almost certainly produced what will be considered Abramovic's definitive biography, at least of her first sixty-five years." -- Roberta Mock, Cambridge University Press

"I have known and admired Marina for the last thirty years, both as an artist and as a person, and in reading this remarkable book I recognize a clear insight into both aspects of her personality. With great and obvious love tempered by a sense of humor Mr. Westcott looks back over the life of this unique artist, and insightfully traces the way her personal experiences are reflected in her art, and how her ever-growing dedication to her art in return changed her life. This book honors the legendary career of a fierce and fearless performer, and at the same time celebrates the warm, generous human being she is and the many myths and fables that have accumulated around her (not a few the result of her own self-deprecating sense of humor)." -- Robert Wilson

"Since she conceived of her first performance in 1969, Marina Abramovic has been a prime mover in the development of what became known as performance art, a source of its invention like none other, a force. What fuels that dynamism and has shaped its uses and defined its far-reaching impact is the subject of James Westcott's portrait of the artist and account of her work. Gaston Bachelard warned against trying to explain a flower by its fertilizer, but absent Westcott's vivid description of Abramovic's extraordinary childhood among the Communist elite of the former Yugoslavia, her challenge to the authority of Eastern Block orthodoxies, her departure for Western Europe and her subsequent exploration of cultures from Asia to Australia to the Americas, our grasp of her motives and our appreciation of her audacity would be much less detailed or critically well informed. Exceptionally candid and articulate in conversation - the artist's voice echoes throughout this book -- and performances, Abramovic is a public mystery, a contemporary Sphinx. Rather than destroy that mystery, Westcott deepens it. Rather than contain her art, he opens it up."--Robert Storr, Dean, School of Art, Yale University

"This book is a magnificent way to get to know Marina's work. To experience not only the better known iconic / monumental side of it but also unite with it the spiritual and the emotional. An invaluable document in the hard-to-document world of performance art."--Bjork

About the Author

James Westcott has written on art, architecture, and politics for numerous publications including the Guardian and the Village Voice, and was editor of He now writes and edits for AMO, the think tank and publishing unit of Rem Koolhaas's Office for Metropolitan Architecture, in Rotterdam.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This biography is outstanding; with so much depth and charisma within her life. I was amazed by her body of work, through out her early works in the 1970's and present time. The book was new, as advertised and was delivered promptly.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Elisabetta Iannucci on May 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amazing book. well written, compelling, well researched and complete. It's an important document to understand the work and legacy of this complex, mysterious artist in context. She is one of the most important living artist we have, unique in her own way.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Olivia on June 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book to help with a research project on Marina Abramovic for my Art since 1945 history class. Not only was this book very extensive in information but it was also very personal and well written. I don't think I've ever had a biography become one of my favorite books, but this book and the women it is is about is so lovely and moving. Definitely a must read for those who enjoy performance art or simply want to learn more about one of the worlds most controversial and amazing artists.
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