Watch Marina Abramović speak on the impact of Marcel Duchamp’s art on her

In this exclusive unseen clip, the performance artist reflects on how Duchamp has influenced her own pioneering work

“For me, he was an inventor, in the real sense of the word”, says Marina Abramović, speaking in an exclusive clip about French-American sculptor, painter, and writer Marcel Duchamp. “He didn’t think inside the box and wasn’t afraid to risk.”

The interview was recorded as part of the new documentary Marcel Duchamp: The Art of the Possible, albeit it didn’t make the final cut. Directed by Matthew Taylor and released last month, the film explores Duchamp’s ideas retracing the historical events and the modernist explosion that characterised the early 20th century.

Starring 16 artistic personalities, including Michel Gondry, Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, as well as Abramović herself, the documentary shows how Duchamp’s visionary works shaped the public consciousness changing our understanding of aesthetics, art, and culture.

In the video, the performance artist talks about the complex and unpredictable nature of Duchamp’s artistic contribution. Referring to the influence that the Dada pioneer has had on her own vision, she describes his art as an enigma that could only be solved thanks to the support of the audience. 

“There is something he said that I always repeat when I talk about my own work,” says the Belgrade-born artist in an inspirational fragment of the clip. “When you make a work of art, you always have to create space in this work, so that the public can finish it.”

The “godmother of performance art”, Abramović represents a striking example of how Duchamp’s philosophy served as the aesthetic and intellectual foundation for the artistic evolution witnessed in the 21st century. More than a simple biopic, Marcel Duchamp: The Art of the Possible celebrates his genius by acknowledging the inestimable impact Duchamp has had on generations of artists, filmmakers, writers, and more.  

Marcel Duchamp: The Art of the Possible is available to watch on iTunes and Amazon now. You can watch the trailer below.