After a book-signing event to promote her retrospective exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Marina Abramović was assaulted by a 51-year-old Czech man as per Hyperallergic. The artist is reported to be OK after being smashed over the head with a painting on paper that features a portrait of the renowned performance artist. Despite the harrowing episode, the artist wanted to meet with the attacker to “better understand his actions,” as per The Art Newspaper. The incident occurred this past Sunday.
Palazzo Strozzi director Arturo Galansino shared a post on Instagram (below) confirming Abramović was unharmed by the assault. “We’re fine! Everything is fine!” stated the caption. “Marina Abramović is fine and has not suffered any physical damage. After checking with the police, she left Palazzo Strozzi with serenity. Immediately after the incident, she wanted to meet the aggressor for a direct confrontation on the reasons for this action.”
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Stiamo bene! Everything is fine! Il direttore della Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi Arturo Galansino, curatore della mostra “Marina Abramović. The Cleaner”, in corso a Palazzo Strozzi a Firenze (fino al 20 gennaio 2019), esprime il suo sentito dispiacere per l’aggressione subita dall’artista nel cortile di Palazzo Strozzi in data odierna. L’episodio si è verificato subito dopo la conclusione di un altro appuntamento di grande successo di pubblico per la firma del suo nuovo libro di interviste “Marina Abramovic Interviews 1976-2018”, evento che ha concluso una trionfale settimana di eventi con l’artista a Firenze, culminata nella conferenza pubblica al Teatro del Maggio Musciale Fiorentino a cui hanno partecipato oltre 1.500 persone. Marina Abramović sta bene e non ha subito alcun danno fisico. Dopo le verifiche con le forze dell’ordine ha lasciato Palazzo Strozzi con serenità. Subito dopo l’accaduto ha voluto incontrare l’aggressore per un confronto diretto sulle ragioni di questa azione.
In an interview with a local Italian newspaper, La Republicca, Abramović expressed that she initially thought the man was handing her the painting as a gift, but his expression immediately became vicious. “Why this hatred against me?” expressed Abramović. “What’s the reason? Why this violence? I had not done anything. I had never met him before. He said: ‘I had to do it for my art.’ This was his answer.”
Abramović went on to share the difference between her work and the assailant’s. “Violence against others doesn’t make art. I was also a young artist who was not famous, but I have never hurt anyone. In my work, I stage different situations and put my life at risk. But this is my decision and I set the conditions.”
Watch the incident unfold in the video below and let us know your thoughts. This past August, Abramović was under fire for a controversial Regatta poster design.