Marina Abramovic: Jay Z 'Used Me'

Collaboration with him left her 'very pissed,' she says
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2015 8:19 AM CDT
Marina Abramovic: Jay Z 'Used Me'
Artist Marina Abramovic attends an Abramovic Method cocktail party at the 70th edition of the Venice Film Festival held from Aug. 28 through Sept. 7, in Venice, Italy, Aug. 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

Do not count Marina Abramovic among Jay Z's many fans. The performance artist collaborated with Jay in 2013 for his "Picasso Baby" video—the rapper had been inspired by Abramovic's "The Artist Is Present" piece at MoMA, in which she sat across from other people at a table for 736 hours, so for the video he rapped for six hours, Time reports. The Guardian explains that Jay "riffed on" Abramovic's idea in the video, himself rapping across from a number of celebrities, including Abramovic—but in a new interview with Spike magazine, Abramovic says the experience left her "very pissed." "There was one reason [I agreed to do the video] that I can't talk about," she explains. "He adapted my work only under one condition: that he would help my institute. Which he didn't." (In 2013, outlets reported Jay Z was set to donate to Abramovic's institute.)

"The day before, he came to my office and I gave him an entire PowerPoint presentation and said: 'OK, you can help me, because I really need help to build this thing.' Then he just completely used me," she continues. "And that wasn't fair. This is very different from Lady Gaga, for example, who has done great work for me. Just by having 45 million followers, she brought all these young kids into my public." She notes that she felt "totally used and came out with nothing. It's very unfair. ... In the end it was only a one-way transaction. I will never do it again, that I can say. Never. I was really naive in this kind of world. It was really new to me, and I had no idea that this would happen. It's so cruel, it's incredible. I will stay away from it for sure." (Jay Z himself recently threw some major shade during a freestyle rap.)

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