In scary art news, Marina Abramović was attacked by a man on Sunday at Palazzo Strozzi, where the artist was signing books at her retrospective exhibition “The Cleaner.”
Her assailant carried a framed canvas portrait of Abramović that he used to hit the artist over the head. She was reportedly shaken but unharmed following the incident. The gallery’s director Arturo Galansino posted on Instagram a selfie with Abramović, captioning it, “We’re fine! Everything is fine!”
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Stiamo bene! Everything is fine! Il direttore della Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi Arturo Galansino, curatore della mostra “Marina Abramović. The Cleaner”, in corso a Palazzo Strozzi a Firenze (fino al 20 gennaio 2019), esprime il suo sentito dispiacere per l’aggressione subita dall’artista nel cortile di Palazzo Strozzi in data odierna. L’episodio si è verificato subito dopo la conclusione di un altro appuntamento di grande successo di pubblico per la firma del suo nuovo libro di interviste “Marina Abramovic Interviews 1976-2018”, evento che ha concluso una trionfale settimana di eventi con l’artista a Firenze, culminata nella conferenza pubblica al Teatro del Maggio Musciale Fiorentino a cui hanno partecipato oltre 1.500 persone. Marina Abramović sta bene e non ha subito alcun danno fisico. Dopo le verifiche con le forze dell’ordine ha lasciato Palazzo Strozzi con serenità. Subito dopo l’accaduto ha voluto incontrare l’aggressore per un confronto diretto sulle ragioni di questa azione.
The caption continued, “Marina Abramović is well and has not suffered any physical harm,” the statement continues. “After checking with the police, she left Palazzo Strozzi with serenity. Immediately after the event she wanted to meet the aggressor for a direct confrontation on the reasons for this action.”
The attacker is reported to be a 51-year-old artist living in Florence. The mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, tweeted that the man was “not new to this type of gesture.”
In an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Abramović described the circumstances surrounding the attack.
“Among the crowd, there was a man who was carrying a distorted painting of my face,” she said. “He approached me looking into my eyes and I smiled at him thinking that it was a gift for me. In a split second, I saw his expression change and become violent, coming towards me very quickly and forcefully. The dangers always come very quickly, like death itself.”
She also talked about her conversation with the attacker after the incident.
“The first thing I asked for was: I want to talk to him, I want to know why he did it,” she said. “Why does he hate me?” When Abramović confronted the man, who she says she had never met before, he told her “I had to do it for my art.”
“Violence against others doesn’t make art.”
See a video of the attack below: