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Marina Abramović

A Visual Biography

  • Publishing

As numerous global institutions join in their collective celebrations of the performance artist Marina Abramović, her 50 year legacy is championed through a myriad of shows and events. The publication of her new book – ‘Marina Abramović, A Visual Biography’ marks the occasion.

Totalling 496 pages, this tome presents a deeply personal document. Narrating her early life as a child in former Yugoslavia, to her psychological (and physical) journey to become one of the world’s most important figures in contemporary performance art. Conceived and written with author Katya Tylevich, the publication presents unseen imagery taken from personal archives – accompanied by a transcripted dialogue between Katya and Marina.

HS was commissioned to design the book. Working closely with artist, author and publisher the final publication is a powerful testament of collaborative endeavour.

Our design approach is structured around three tiers of information; written dialogue, imagery and quotations. A special black ink was printed throughout – eschewing the conventional white page, to allow imagery and words to shimmer in the void, like projected images on a silver screen. Other stills appear full bleed and, on occasions, magnified and grainy. Larger words and anecdotes are used to punctuate the narrative and juxtapose – like film titles. This cinematic approach frames Marina’s extraordinary life story as we travel through time, across continents and through a spectrum of profound self-reflection.


Published by: Laurence King
Senior Editor: Laura Paton
Design and Art Direction: Hingston Studio
Designers: Jūratė Gačionytė, Tom Hingston
Production: Simon Walsh

“You need discipline if you want to do what I’m doing now. Without discipline, believe me, you will never make artwork that makes somebody cry. Now I stage the things I am most ashamed of, and I can do it without embarrassment. Shame is the most difficult feeling, but it is also universal. That’s why I think anybody can project my biography onto their own.” — Marina Abramović

“My work always comes from life! It isn’t rational. I’m not putting stamps on lemons. I don’t sit and think about what I’m going to do next. I have to be hit by it, afraid of it and obsessed. That’s life, not studio work. To talk about my work you have to talk about my life. This whole book is about life.” — Marina Abramović