Marina Abramović, the cult of the hero

The making of Marina Abramović as an icon, an idol, a brand has grown the moment she landed in America. Embraced by stars of the music industry and Hollywood, she has become bigger than life. Breaking attendance records at the MOMA in 2010 with her performance ‘The Artist is Present’, she attracted more than 850,000 visitors, many of whom queued all night for a one-to-one audience with Abramović, weeping when they finally sat in front of her.  

The work reaffirmed the artist’s capacity for endurance and interpersonal engagement, but also revealed the powerful appeal of the idol, the ever-expanding cult of celebrity, and the current love to share every single minute and every aspect of our lives with everyone.

Her recent exhibitions at the Royal Academy in London and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam have only cemented her aura as the greatest female performance artist ever to grace the earth. She has accumulated devoted followers all over the world, especially among the younger generation; her advocating of physical struggle or sacrifice for enlightenment; and the push for a sense of balance, openness, and calm resonates with many during a time in which so much is in turmoil.

In this one hour talk we look at the work of the incredible charismatic Abramović, where life is art and art is life.

Please, note:

  • the total duration of the event is 1 hour ( ~ 50mins lecture and 10mins Q&A)
  • the talk doesn’t require any prior training and anyone can join
  • This event will be recorded: the video will be available in 3-5 days after the talk
  • Guests can access all videos at a small fee; videos for members are free of charge
  • if you wish to become a member – please, learn about our membership plans


Mariska Beekenkamp-Wladimiroff
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Originally schooled as a psychologist in the Netherlands, Mariska Beekenkamp-Wladimiroff turned to the arts when starting a family in London. Specialising in the Dutch Golden Age of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Mariska now delivers talks for a number of organisations, including her own company Art Historical London. Art Historical London offers art historical lectures, museum visits, courses, tours, travel and events from Amsterdam, London and New York, and since 2020 online. 

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