Setting the record straight on Marina Abramovic’s “Spirit Cooking”

Alt-right demonizes performance artist

Marina Abramović is a name synonymous with performance art for enthusiasts and academics alike.

For the past 40 years Abramović has been a pioneer in creating conceptual art through performance, video installations, sound installations and photography. Recently, her name has become associated with satanic Wiccan occultism, promoted by the alt-right outlet, InfoWars. The work that set off this wild misconception was Abramović’s Spirit Cooking, which is a portfolio created by Abramović and printmaker Jacob Samuel. Abramović developed Spirit Cooking in the fashion of a cookbook, containing aphrodisiac recipes “that serve as evocative actions or thoughts”.  The portfolio, as with many of Abramović’s works, was intended to provoke the mind and heart, and audience engagement is a large component of the performance art formula. An extension of Spirit Cooking was a performance piece showing the artist painting the walls of a room with pig’s blood which certain alt-right followers misconstrued as a satanic ritual. What Alex Jones’ alt-right flock doesn’t seem to understand is that the definition of performance art includes the body as the material, rather than the tangible objects used. Ironically, the alt-right movement’s bastardization of Abramović’s work for political purposes highlights the defining theme of her long career as an artist: the personal is political.

See Abramović perform below:

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