marina abramović says children hold female artists back

The artist has spoken frankly about her rejection of the family model, and why women shouldn’t be expected to want it all.

by Wendy Syfret
27 July 2016, 1:27pm

Marina Abramović is one of the world's most successful and influential living artists. Over her 40 year career she has distinguished herself through her unique vision and unparalleled ability to push herself physically and mentally — she's admitted she is "ready to die" for her work. In a recent interview with a German newspaper, she also credits her success to her lack of children.

Speaking to Tagesspiegel she explained her choice to have three abortions, as having children would have been "a disaster for my work." Continuing, "One only has limited energy in the body, and I would have had to divide it."

Throughout the article she detailed her opinion that the reason women were less successful than men in the international art world was because they were held back by family responsibilities. "Why do men take over the important positions? It's simple. Love, family, children — a woman doesn't want to sacrifice all of that." She pointed out that without children or a partner she was "totally free" to work, travel, and commit herself to the grueling pieces that have made her so renowned.

While her statements have opened up a debate over the sacrifices that children present, it's commendable to see a public female figure speaking openly about her ambition. Marina's overall point was that women shouldn't be expected to want it all. Many women can attest to the suffocating pressure to be a perfect partner, mother, and professional and as she argues, freedom to be anything you want includes the freedom to not participate in traditional archetypes of womanhood. 


Text Wendy Syfret
Image via Wikipedia

Marina Abramovic