Performance artist Marina Abramovic is known for putting her body on the line — from cutting herself, to walking thousands of kilometres along China’s Great Wall, to having a loaded gun pointed at her head. The charismatic Belgrade-born art pioneer counts celebrities such as pop star Lady Gaga among her fans, while her performances attract people in the thousands. But for all her current fame, Abramovic credits the months spent in quiet remote Australian Aboriginal communities in the 1980s as being one of the major influences on her life’s work. ‘This really changes our lives, connection with this kind of people,’ Abramovic explains to AFP of the time she spent with her then partner, German artist Frank Uwe Laysiepen, known as Ulay, in the central Australian desert regions. They lived for close to a year in Australia, mostly with the Pintupi and Pitjantjatjara tribes near the giant red monolith Uluru and in big Outback cattle stations. The Aboriginal ‘idea of here and now;

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