Artists interviewed | Marina Abramović + Elena Ferrante

Two artists I admire seem to be complete opposites: Marina Abramović a performance artist who often uses her self, her body as the medium of her artwork, and Elena Ferrante, a nearly-anonymous author who has never made a public appearance or  confirmed her identity. Despite their differences in facing the limelight, both artists works are extremely personal, bringing deeply emotional subjects and themes to their expressions. Recenly, the Financial Times featured both artists together in a beautiful “meeting”: a published exchange between the two conducted via email.

On passage that struck me was when Ferrante writes to Abramović about the condition of female artists’ balancing the constraints of life as a woman and as a creative. She mentions fighting against the idea the women must relinquish their own genius in pursuit of performing the role of wife.

“Rather, we have to fight so that the greatest, longest, stupidest waste ever see on this planet will end: the waste of female intelligence and creativity.”

Abramović’s words are forceful as well: “We can all be warrior’s in our own unique way.”

Together, their conversation spans identity, creativity, and gender equality.

Quote from Ferrante to Abramović

Reflecting on their conversation, I’m left with thoughts on my own experiences, as a wife and mother, and as an artist. The balancing act that is mentioned resonates with my reality – a constant pull between my maternal responsibilities and the force of my creative drive.

In my way, my pursuit of creating beautiful things is my contribution to the ‘fight’ that Ferrante describes – the fight against the loss of female creativity. What a gift that both Ferrante and Abramović  have led the way for us all.