So many things in this world are wrong—from the violence, people still chopping of each other’s heads, to poverty, the planet is dying, you name it. The newspaper is always full of bad news.
And, what are we doing? We are sitting in our comfortable chairs and we are looking at this world, and we criticise how this should be done and how that should be done, and how this change should be made or that the president should go away and we should get another one.
But we are never looking into ourselves. What we, on a personal level, can do to change something. And that’s what is all important.
So for me, I really wanted to see how I could change my consciousness about things. By changing my consciousness I could influence others and I could see how we can do something better.
So its really important for an artist not to just reflect on how society looks today, because we know how it is today, it’s really important [to know] what is the solution, and how we can actually lift the human spirit. Because it is very easy to put the human spirit down.
How to lift the human spirit? How to find some way that you can get in touch with your own self, and what you can do in your own private way to contribute to change in the world. Because it’s not something that is just personal—it’s a huge work that we do, collectively, together.
This is so hard to do because we never really look in ourselves, and that’s all we have to do. So my proposition at MONA, like this simple exam we have in counting rice—it’s a simple exercise, what the hell should I count rice for?—but if you do it, you see how you can actually conduct this experiment in your own life, and how you can take that discipline into your own life, and how you can contribute to some kind of change.
— Marina Abramovic, 2015