Since the beginning of her career in Belgrade during the early seventies, Marina Abramović has pioneered performance art, creating some of the form's most important early works. The body has always been both her subject and medium. Exploring her physical and mental limits, she has withstood pain, exhaustion and danger in her quest for emotional and spiritual transformation.
Abramović was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale. In 2008, she was decorated with the Austrian Commander Cross for her contribution to art history. In 2010, Abramović had her first major US retrospective and simultaneously performed for over 700 hours in The Artist is Present at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her durational work–entitled Marina Abramović: 512 Hours–went on view at the Serpentine Gallery in London in 2014, during which the public becomes an integral part of the piece. This concept of reshaping and redefining the role of the audience, bringing the viewer into the actual experience and execution of the work, is another theme that has been explored throughout much of her career.