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Walk Through Walls: A Memoir by [Abramovic, Marina]
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Length: 402 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews Review

An Amazon Best Book of November 2016: She’s nuts. There will be devotees devouring Walk Through Walls who will revel in the genius of performance artist Marina Abramović. But for those approaching this frank and fascinating memoir not knowing much about her, that would be an understandable assessment. After all, Abramović has willingly had a loaded pistol pointed at her head, been maimed by strangers, she’s lost consciousness after laying in the middle of a gas-soaked star set aflame (and that’s just for starters). It’s an odd career trajectory considering Abramović’s antithetical upbringing under the hem of a tyrannical mother who insisted she be home by ten at the tender age of…24. Danica Rosić was seemingly ashamed of her daughter’s artistic endeavors, and yet when she died, Abramović discovered that she had stashed away newspaper clippings about her performances—holey clippings where she had carefully cut out her daughter’s often nude (and sometimes mutilated) visage. You might be tempted to excise the more disturbing aspects of Abramović’s narrative as well, but like a gruesome car crash, it’s tough to look away. And if you find yourself cringing, well then, that’s the point. One of the main purposes of Abramović’s art--of her life--is to learn how to confront and transcend the uncomfortable—the physically and the emotionally painful. You may come away from Walk Through Walls thinking, yeah, this lady, she cray. But there is something to be said for someone with the audacity to run towards what the rest of us are only too happy to flee. --Erin Kodicek, The Amazon Book Review


"Candidly and vividly sharing her personal struggles as well as her artistic and spiritual discoveries, Abramovic presents a uniquely intense and affecting art memoir."Booklist, starred review

“Enchanting and emotionally raw, Walk Through Walls is an honest, gripping, and profound look into the heart and brilliant mind of one of the quintessential artists of the postmodern era.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Marina has lived like an unstoppable force of nature, with the kind of power that leaves me feeling breathless and disquieted—while at the same time profoundly impressed, awed, and inspired. As I turn the pages of her book, I hear her voice in my head, as if she were actually narrating the words. When Marina speaks, it sounds as if you’re listening to a legendary folktale from the ancient landscapes of the Balkan Mountains. Her voice is soothing, calm, and centered. It belies the trauma, fear, and darkness coiled at the root of her impulse to express and expunge.” —Annie Lennox, Vanity Fair

“In her new memoir, Walk Through Walls, [Marina Abramović] exposes herself as provocatively and fearlessly in language as she has done for many years in her largely nonverbal performance art. Her page-turner of a narrative [is] at times shocking…genuinely moving, and always coruscatingly honest.” Elle

Walk Through Walls gives the impression that the phrase ‘real talk’ may have been coined solely for its author Marina Abramović. The provocative performance artist pulls no punches looking back over her rough childhood and prolific public career. But it’s not all dark recollections. There’s plenty of wry wit in her memoir as well, as she reveals insights into her various projects and processes.” BUST
Walk Through Walls testifies to larger struggles than those of a young, visionary performance artist in an object-oriented art world…It is hard not to read Abramović’s work as an unconscious enactment of upending patriarchal norms.” Los Angeles Review of Books

“Abramović may be the only superstar performance artist in the world at the moment, and…the book itself has the veneer of an ambitious performance piece, as Abramović exposes her deepest personal wounds and places them next to her artistic triumphs, in order to create a kind of epic mythology around her work. The author turns blank pages into a museum of the self, cutting herself open for the sake of the narrative. But in Abramović’s case, the performance feels even more extreme. She has actually bled for her life story, onto pristine gallery floors….This Marina is the most charming one, the voice that makes Walk Through Walls propulsively readable.”New Republic

"[Walk Through Walls] is really close to what it’s like to spend a weekend with her: Abramovic is funny, generous, and vituperative, a raconteur and comedian and the sometimes sad-sack hero of the epic tale of her mad life."New York Magazine

“Marina’s role as an artist, she believes, with a hubris that can sound naïve and a humility that disarms any impulse to resent it, is to lead her spectators through an anxious passage to a place of release from whatever has confined them.” —Judith Thurman, The New Yorker

“Abramović’s story is thoroughly detailed, with brutally honest descriptions of her life and performance pieces, all providing deep insights into her work….an informative, eye-opening look at the larger world of art.”Library Journal

"The memoir’s most powerful moments come when Abramović shares the most intimate details of the romantic heartaches she’s endured. Marina pulls no punches about the men she’s loved and the artist feels feels more present than ever."Smithsonian Magazine

Walk Through Walls reads as a frank and straightforward retelling of a life story…Where is the dividing line that separates life and art? That question, and tension, make this an electrifying read.” BookPage

"...There is something intensely enthralling about Abramović’s simple, matter-of-factly candor in surveying, without belaboring, the traumatic formative experiences despite which — and, to a large extent, because of which — she became the person and artist she is."Brainpickings  

"An entertaining page-turner dotted with juicy details . . . teems with that wonderfully jumbled, delightful, complicated mix of art and life.”The Daily Beast

"Walk Through Walls enthralling and powerful as [Marina's] career and work."Riveter's

"[Walk Through Walls is] rawly intimate and weirdly mesmeric...quietly revelatory."The Observer (UK)

Walk Through Walls is the story of a relentlessly independent artist thwarted in her quest for total connection with one person who eventually achieves it with thousands. Marina’s magic derives from an emerging ‘method’ that involves tests of endurance and deprivation more commonly associated with Navy Seal training than with the world of modern art. Just as her performances are impossible to turn away from, I could not put down this book.”
—Tom Reiss, Pulitzer and PEN award-winning author of The Black Count and The Orientalist
“Marina Abramović is famous for fiercely throwing herself, body and soul, into transformation through her art. In this intimate memoir, I hear her voice as I read. She confesses, confides, complains, instructs, and reflects with intelligence and humor on her difficult but ultimately magical life and liberating work.” —Willem Dafoe
“Abramović is the most celebrated performance/conceptual artist in the world, and she’s probably the only one with a sense of humor.” —Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times UK
Walk Through Walls is beautiful, panoramic, touching, deep. I really love and admire the way Marina confronts all the weird contradictions of myth mixing with daily life. She manages to say personal as well as self-critical things about herself while still making a self-portrait that is rich and full of real self-respect. What a life!” —Laurie Anderson
“In The Heart Sutra, Buddha says, ‘Our life on earth is like a morning star, a bubble on water, a drop of dew, lightning in the summer sky, a dream in this floating world.’ For Marina Abramović, there is no difference between art and life, life is a dream while it lasts, an absolute presence made ​​in a vacuum.” —Alejandro Jodorowsky

Product details

  • File Size: 226452 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (October 25, 2016)
  • Publication Date: October 25, 2016
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,677 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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