Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful (1975)
re-performance: 8 hours
In Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful (1975), originally performed and documented at the Charlottenburg Art Festival, Copenhagen, Abramović sits, naked, holding a brush in one hand and a comb in the other. For just under an hour, she brushes her hair forcefully, yanking, tugging and even tearing at it, while repeating the mantra “art must be beautiful, artist must be beautiful”. For several minutes at a time, she falls silent and with a still gaze, she stares blankly into the distance before recommencing the punitive beauty routine. This is the first time that this work will be re-performed in Europe and has only been re-performed on one other occasion, in 2016 in Shanghai as part of the project “15 Rooms”.