Marina Abramović - Photographs London Wednesday, November 1, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin

  • Exhibited

    Marina Abramović – Entering the Other Side, Kistefos-Museet, Jevnaker, Norway, 25 May - 5 October 2015
    For another

  • Catalogue Essay

    'In holding a skull in my hands, I attempt to control my own destiny and at the same time liberate a fear of dying.’
    Marina Abramović

    Pushing boundaries and challenging her own fear as well as that of the viewer, much of Marina Abramović’s work deals with the limitations of the body. In recent years, she has focused more on mortality. ‘When you get to my age,’ she says, ‘you know you have to confront death. I want to die without anger, without fear and consciously, and these three things are not easy.’

    In the present work, she brings death to the forefront in her use of the skull. This work is related to a performance piece, Nude with Skeleton (2002). Lying on the floor with a skeleton draped over her, she breathes life into it, forcing the viewer to confront that inevitable end. ‘Being so close to your skeleton,’ she explains, ‘breathing through and looking at, confronting it – it’s the way to deal with the fear.’ In Self Portrait with Skull, 2004, Abramović stands naked, facing the camera directly; her hair is brushed over her face and she holds a skull at her stomach. Concealing her own face, the skull is what the viewer confronts. This pose is repeated the following year in her video installation Balkan Erotic Epic, which examined the connection between eroticism and spirituality in Serbian folklore.

    In 1997, Abramović was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for the video installation and performance Balkan Baroque and her major 2010 retrospective, The Artist is Present, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, garnered over 750,000 visitors. Her work resides in many institutional collections, including Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Modern, London; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.



Self Portrait with Skull

Chromogenic print.
Image/Sheet: 60.7 x 50.3 cm (23 7/8 x 19 3/4 in.)
Frame: 80.4 x 69 cm (31 5/8 x 27 1/8 in.)

Signed in ink, printed title and date on an artist label affixed to the reverse of the frame.

This work is a one-off work outside the sold-out edition of 3 + 2 AP and is the same size as prints from the edition.

£10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for £15,000

Contact Specialist
Genevieve Janvrin
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7901 7996

Yuka Yamaji
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7318 4098


London Auction 2 November 2017