Marina Abramović: Public Body : Installation and Objects, 1965-2001

Public Bodyis the third book in a trilogy dedicated to Marina Abramovic, and presents the work ''Transitory Objects for Human and Non-Human Use.'' In this work Abramovic built a series of transitory objects with the objective of engendering active audience participation. Abramovic hit upon the idea while she was walking along the Great Wall of China; she realized that it was the first time that she was doing a performance without an audience. To transmit this experience she constructed a series of objects: for ''human use,'' ''spiritual use,'' and ''use of power.'' These objects--made of iron, wood, minerals, pigs' blood, and human hair--all ''contain a certain kind of energy,'' according to Abramovic. She does not see these works as sculptures, but as ephemeral objects that trigger public experiences through direct interaction. Whereas the first two books in the trilogy, Performing Bodyand Artist Body, focused on the artist and her oeuvre, Public Bodyflips the proverbial script, enacting a role reversal between artist and audience. The book features an impassioned essay by Abramovic concerning her thoughts on public performance and her recent trips to China, India, Japan, and Brazil, as well as an interview with the artist by Germano Celant.

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