When I read a book, everything around me stopped existing. All the unhapiness of my family – my parents’ bitter fights, my grandmother’s sadness at having had everyhting taken away from her – disapperead. I merged with the characters.
Extreme narratives fascinated me. I loved Reading about Rasputine, whom no bullet could kill – Communism mixed with mysticism was very much part of my DNA. And I’ll never Forget a strange story by Camus, “The Renegade”. It told of a Christian missionary who went to convert a desert tribe and instead was converted by them. When he broke one of their rules, they cut his tongue out.
The only good present my mother ever got me was a book called Letters: Summer 1926, about the three-way correspondence between Rilke, the Russian poet Marina Tsvetayeva, and Boris Pasternak, the author of Doctor Zhivago. The three had never met, but they adored each other’s work, and for four years they all wrote sonnets and sent them to another. And through this correspondence, each of them fell passionately in love with the other two.
Can you imagine a lonely fifteen-year-old girl coming upon a story like this? (And the fact that Tsvetayeva and I shared a first name seemed cosmically significant.)
When I was fourteen, I invited a friend, a boy from school, to my apartment to play Russian roulette. No one was at home. We did it in the library, sitting opposite each other at the table. I took my father’s revolver from his nightstand, took all the bullets out bu tone, spun the chamber, and gave the gun to my friend. He pressed the muzzle against his temple and pulled the trigger. We just heard the click. He passed the pistol to me. I put it to my temple and pulled the trigger. Again, we just heard a click. Then I pointed the gun at the Bookshelf and pulled the trigger. A huge explosion, and the bullet flew across the room and straight into the spine of Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. A minute later, I broke into a cold sweat and couldn’t stop trembling.
It was my first trip to the West as an artist. I felt like a very small fish in a very big pond.
But there was also a part of me that didn’t care about any of that. My mother and father had many faults; but they were both very brave and strong people, and they passed along much of that strenght and courage to me. Some big part of me is thrilled by the unkown, by the ideas of taking risks. When it comes to doing risky things, I don’t care, I just go for it.
(…) That i show I felt about Rhytm 10, the piece I planned to perform at Edinburgh. Rhytm 10 was absolutely crazy. It was based on a drinking game played by Russians and Yugoslav peasants: you spread your fingers out on a wooden bar or table and stab down a Sharp knife, fast, in the space between your fingers. Every time you miss and cut yourself, you have to take another drink. The drunker you get, the more likely you are to stab yourself. Like Russian roulette, it is a game of bravery and foolishness and despair and darkness – the perfect Slavic game.
(…) Much later on, I read a statement of Bruce Nauman’s: “Art is a matter of life and death.” It sound melodramatic, but it’s also true. This was exactly how it was for me, even at the beginning. Art was life and death. There was nothing else. It was so serious, and so necessary.
When I’d gone through the ten knives once more, I rewound the second tape recorder, played the double soundtrack of both performances, then stood up and left. Listening to the wild applause from the audience, I knew I’d succeeded in creating an unprecedented unity of time presente and time past with random errors.
I had experienced absolute freedom – I had felt that my body was without boundaries, limitless; that pain didn’t matter, that nothing mattered at all – and it intoxicated me. I was drunk from the overwheling energy that I’d received. That was the moment I knew that I had found my médium. No painting, no object that I could make, could ever give me that kind of feeling, and it was a feeling I knew I would have to seek out, again and gain and again.
Uma autobiografia é sempre uma tentativa audaz. WALK THROUGH WALLS: A MEMOIR é uma leitura interessante mas não deveras estimulante, como seria de esperar de uma artista que sempre se expôs a tantos riscos na sua vida. Os capítulos iniciais, que se debruçam sobre a infância, os anos de formação e as primeiras performances de Marina Abramovic, foram os que me mais me estimularam. Depois disto, creio que continuei a ler, animada por uma esperançosa teimosia que não encontrou a sua satisfação. A escrita é bastante crua e pouco literária, mas acho que tal aporta mais genuinidade ao livro (ouvindo a TED TALK da artista percebe-se que o ghost writer conseguiu replicar bem o seu estilo). O que mais molestou foi a presença disseminada de um misticismo, que muito me interessa e nada me incomodaria, caso não surgisse apresentado de maneira tão superficial e pouco sustentada, e a intuição de um narcisismo colossal. Bem sei que se trata de uma autobriografia e, como tal, o narcisismo deveria justificado pela forma, mas pressente-se mais como uma característica essencial da personalidade. Em determinada passagem, a autora enuncia a ideia de a sua personalidade ser constituída por 3 Marinas: " The warrior one. The spiritual one. The bullshit one." A Marina Guerreira atravessa todo o livro, embora a Marina Tretas esteja sempre omnipresente.Da Marina Espiritual, infelizmente, apenas alguns indícios insuficientes.