Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic said Friday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had "invited" her to become an ambassador for rebuilding schools in the war-hit country.
Ms. Abramovic, a 76-year-old born in Yugoslavia, said in an interview with the Modern Art Museum in Shanghai that she was "the first artist to support the Ukraine war against Russia and to give my voice."
"I have also been invited to be a board member of the Babyn Yar organization to continue to protect the memorial," she added, referring to a holocaust memorial center dedicated to Jews murdered by Nazis in Ukraine.
In 2021, she installed "The Crystal Wall of Crying," a stand-alone thick wall made of coal with large quartz crystals sticking out of it, in Kyiv to remember Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
She described the artwork as a "wall for healing," which was a symbolic extension of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.
"But another part of reality - you know that something terrible, terrible happened at the same time. And that kind of memory can't leave you. So you have this mix of feeling beauty and heaviness and past which is there all the time."Ms. Abramovic became the first woman to have a solo retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in the United Kingdom, running from Sept. 23, 2023, to Jan. 1, 2024. BBC reported that visitors will enter the exhibition by passing between two nude models.
Born in Belgrade in 1946, Ms. Abramovic studied fine arts in her hometown and Zagreb before she moved to Amsterdam in 1976. Her performances include the 1988 "The Great Wall Walk," in which she and German artist Ulay walked from opposite ends of the Great Wall of China before meeting in an embrace.
At the 2010 retrospective of her work held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Ms. Abramovic performed her "The Artist is Present," in which she spent 716 hours sitting still while thousands of museumgoers took turns sitting in front of her and sharing one another's gaze.