First, Marina Abramovic took to Kickstarter to crowdfund her newest performance art endeavor -- an eponymous institute devoted to long durational performance work. Then she announced that she was invading Reddit, hosting an AMA where all her disciples could pick her brain one sly question at a time.
Bow down, internet. Marina Abramovic has conquered you.
We scanned the AMA, which took place today at 12:30 PM EST, to pick out the Grandmother of Performance Art's best responses. Behold, seven things you might not have known about the art icon.
1. She's not a vampire, but she will never age.
When someone asked Abramovic why she hasn't aged in 40 years (and if she is in fact a vampire), the artist replied with this very bold claim:
"I will soon post the photos of my grandmother who was 103 and her mother who was 116 to prove that Montenegro people live long and never age."
2. She's not in love with Ulay anymore.
Abramovic's infamous relationship with German-born artist Ulay is well documented. In fact, a quick search on YouTube will bring up more than a few videos of the two collaborating on various bizarre and NSFW projects. So it's natural that redditor sahba asked about their memorable "break-up" on the Great Wall of China and why the two parted ways. Sahba also asked: "How is your heart?" Abramovic replied to all three questions:
"1) One of the most painful moments of my life. I knew this was over, I new it was end of very important period of my life. I just remember I could not stop crying. 2) It's very simple: Ulay was not faithful. He made the translator pregnant at the time and this was very difficult to handle. 3) I am not in love and I am free."
3. She's never wanted children.
In response to a question from redditor sarahgj, who asked if Abramovic had time for children, the artist responded:
"I never wanted to have children. I never had the biological clock running like other women. I always wanted to be an artist and I knew that I could not divide this energy into anything else. Looking back, I think it was the right decision."
4. Her Iconic "Rhythm" performances were scary for her too.
Raise your hand if you were terrified while watching clips (or even hearing about) Marina's escalating series of "Rhythm" performances. Take "Rhythm 0," for example, when she placed 72 menacing objects before an audience and allowed them to use anything from a feather to a scalpel on her. Here's her take on the experience:
"The most scary performance for me was Rhythm 0, not just because my life was in jeopardy but also that the public had complete control and not me. Through the process I realized that if you give total freedom to the public, they really can kill you."
Later she revealed that her hair turned white after the performance.
5. She bought the future home of the Marina Abramovic Institute as a birthday present for herself.
An expensive birthday present, that is:
"The MAI institute is not a personal project. MAI is for everybody. I donate the whole building which I bought on my birthday for $950,000 to the non-profit organization and I don't own it. I also paid another half a million for the master plan of Rem Koolhaas from my own money and the office budget for five months. So this does not belong to me anymore, it belongs to anybody. If this kind of concept is something our society needs, they have to join me to create it."
6. She's a true fan of Jay-Z.
— Azeen Ghorayshi (@azeen_g) July 10, 2013
"I do. He comes from really troubled background. He make his own way from the really difficult childhood and struggle to being rapper royalty and that's not easy. I respect that."
7. Her go-to bad day remedy: Kosher salt baths.
"I'm not attached to bad day or good day. We always know after the rain the sun will come. It is a law of nature. When it is really, really bad day, I take a long bath full of Kosher salt and baking soda, soak for 30 minutes, and I feel better."
BONUS: Marina Abramovic tells a joke.