3 Marina Abramović Lessons for Business Professionals
On June 13, 2022, Art Basel took place, probably THE fair of art fairs.
I use this week as an inspiration week. To learn, be exposed to, and immerse myself in different thinking.
There was one conversation with an artist I appreciate and look up to, Marina Abramović.
Abramovic is a performance artist who pioneered a new notion of identity by bringing in the participation of observers (Recommended watch “The Artist is Present” documentary). For her work, she won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, the Cultural Leadership Award of the American Federation of Arts, and many more.
Why do I mention it in a professional business platform?
Because Marina Abramovic’s words can teach professionals how to think about innovation.
“To me, the entire world has always been divided into two categories: originals and ones who follow…these originals are visionary, they are different, they always thinking outside the box, and so many times in the time they live, they are not understood.” [24:20]
To Look Forward, You Need…
“art needs to look forward,” said Abramovic. So what are her tips to achieve it in her work?
“To risk, not to be afraid of failure.
Believe in your intuition, and most important — dont repeat yourself.
Always look for the new — new ideas, new territories
Dont be afraid you are changing styles.” [43:00]
In a business environment where efficiency and productivity are admired, “Dont repeat” might sound like bad advice, sometimes even stupid. But when it comes to innovation, well — isn’t what we need?
Question or an answer?
When asked what is more important, the question or the answer, she replied with no hesitation, “Absolutely the question. More than the answer. Always. If you really have the right question, you have an answer in the question already.” [48:56]
Some of Abramovic’s words might seem obvious, I assume. But knowing and working with artists, I learned that it is how they think and operate. Organizations looking for innovation could learn from artists how to cultivate a mindset that pushes you for originality, taking risks, and never repeating yourself.