Marina Abramović’s Fashion

You’ve probably already heard of her: Marina Abramović, a pioneering performance artist that has revolutionized art by using her body to explore the limits of physical and mental endurance. Her work, often controversial and provocative, delves into themes of pain and presence. Her popularity and influence extend beyond the art world, intersecting with fashion and pop culture, making her a seminal figure in the contemporary creative scene.

In her earliest pieces, fashion was an important part of her work. She would often dress in utilitarian clothing, a style that was commonplace in her native land, communist Yugoslavia.

As she evolved as an artist, her relationship with designer fashion also deepened.

Marina’s first fashion photoshoot, dressed in YOHJI YAMAMOTO, Paris, 1989 – cc. @rainmagazine__

In 1988, Marina and her cherished collaborator Ulay had planned to meet and marry in the middle of the Great Wall of China as part of a performance piece. After canceling their engagement the two decided to complete the project, each walking two-thousand miles from opposite ends. Afterwards, devastated and heartbroken, Marina went to Paris where she put on a show at the Centre Pompidou. The show was a success and allowed her to purchase her first designer clothes from the collection of an emerging designer, named Yohji Yamamoto.

Marina Abramović, 7 Deaths of Maria Callas at Bayerische Staatsoper. – cc. @koonessofficial

Years later, Marina met designer Ricardo Tisci, the creative director of Givenchy at the time, who inspired her to embrace herself with clothing. The two have collaborated on quite a few projects.

In 2011 they came together on “The Contract,” a story told through a photograph which blurs the lines between fashion and art. In it, the artist and designer pose as Madonna and child, bringing forth questions about the spiritual relationship between fashion and art.

Marina Abramović in collaboration with Riccardo Tisci – cc. @rainmagazine__

In 2020, Abramović and Tisci again joined to celebrate the life and work of Maria Callas. “The 7 deaths of Maria Callas”, staged and directed by Marina, figured designs created by Burberry’s artistic director.

Sketch by Riccardo Tisci of Burberry for tonight’s debut of 7 Deaths of Maria Callas – cc. @fashionnetworkcom

Now, Marina Abramović reinvents her relationship with fashion.

In 2023, an exhibition in Vienna showcased photographs depicting her in “Energy Clothes”, design pieces exploring energy forces as a two-way relationship between performer and viewer in works that consider Asian philosophies and ritualistic ceremonies in Latin America and Australia.

Left, Marina Abramović ENERGY HAT (EYES OPEN), 2021 – 2022. Right, Marina Abramović ENERGY MASK 3, 2021/2023 – cc. @wallpapermag


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *