Marina Abramović Says Jay Z “Completely Used Me” In His “Picasso Baby” Video [UPDATED]
UPDATE: The Marina Abramović Institute has issued a statement of apology for apparently not informing the artist that Jay Z DID make a donation two years ago, leading her to believe that he had reneged on their agreement. “We are sincerely sorry to both Marina Abramović and Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter for this, and since then we have taken to appropriate actions to reconcile this matter,” the statement reads. Awkward! [Rolling Stone]
Remember Jay Z’s 2013 music video for the song “Picasso Baby”? The rapper famously filmed the video at Manhattan’s Pace Gallery on a hot summer day, inviting the public to participate in what was essentially an adaptation of artist Marina Abramović’s MoMA performance, “The Artist Is Present.” For hours, Jay Z held court in the gallery and allowed the public (as well as famous friends) to sit opposite him and hold is gaze, just like Abramović had three years prior. In a new interview with Spike, the artist says that she gave Jay permission to adapt her work in exchange for his help launching the Marina Abramović Institute, which would be a performance art school in New York City — an agreement she claims he never followed through on.
“The day before, he came to my office and I gave him an entire PowerPoint presentation and said: OK, you can help me, because I really need help to build [the Institute]. Then he just completely used me. And that wasn’t fair. …
In the end it was only a one-way transaction. I will never do it again, that I can say. Never. I was really naive in this kind of world. It was really new to me, and I had no idea that this would happen. It’s so cruel, it’s incredible. I will stay away from it for sure.”
Say it ain’t so, Hov! Artists of all mediums need to support each other, and that’s especially true when it comes to transactions between artistic disciplines with major pay disparities, as is often the case with mainstream popular music and visual/performance art. Here’s hoping this whole thing just slipped Jay’s mind and he makes it up to Abramović ASAP. [Guardian]