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Marina Abramovic on Satanist Controversy in BBC1’s ‘Imagine’ Series: ‘I’m an artist, not a satanist!’

As Trump — ill, disgraced, all-cap tweeting and ranting — has lately brought up once again the Hillary Clinton private email controversy, we have been lately given more glimpses into the life and work of someone who was affected by conspiratorial Right-wing outlets — the great performance artist, Marina Abramović. She can be seen in a new British documentary series, Imagine discussed in the Financial Times, At home with Marina Abramovic in BBC1’s Imagine series. Abramović gives an interview with Emine Saner. She is still disturbed by conspiracy theories during the last election, involving her emails with her friend and donor, Tony Podesta, brother of John Podesta, alleging that Abramović is a pedophile and satanist. Marina Abramović defends her life’s work, stating, ‘I’m an artist, not a satanist!.’

I covered this Satanism Controversy years ago, defending Marina Abramović during that period in an article I appeared humored by the accusations. It has been read by many who ventured onto the site, as very few outside of the media familiar with her or introducing her, were doing. However, it was not shared widely, as seems to be the unfortunate norm for these type of articles of mine I attempt to challenge these age-old accusations used as polemics against Theosophy as in my piece Anna Kingsford and Helena Blavatsky on the True Ancient Meaning of Satan. The over-excitement is also partly due to the general attitude toward what is termed, Occultism. It appears, even with every argument you can muster, certain people are not willing to change that perception, which makes them vulnerable to believing in such controversy in the first place. We do not often know if such persons are self-deluded, or engaging in such slander intently, despite knowing the lies or lack of evidence in their allegations.

Marina Abramović is the world’s most famous performance artist, and has continued to produce her art amid ridicule for almost 50 years. During the Hillary email controversy last election, Abramović was implicated in an online conspiracy theory convinced that Abramović and the liberal elite were part of a global pedophile ring. This began when an email between Abramović and Tony Podesta, brother of John Podesta inviting him, John and others who donated to her institute, to her performance called “Spirit Cooking.”

John Podesta was running Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and the conspiracies involved Hillary and Bill Clinton. I had strongly scolded and rebutted the Right-wing conspiracy theories in Satanic Panic Returns: Marina Abramovic, providing context about Abramovic and Thelema. A spokesperson of The Satanic Temple, Lucien Greaves responded to the leaked emails, adding that the absurd accusations are desperate attempts at ruining political careers, creating witch-hunter inquisitorial panic from a long gone period. I demonstrated, that Abramović was not a Satanist, nor a Crowley disciple, and she thinks so too. She finds the accusations ridiculous.

“This is something I have been deeply bothered by,” she says.

“I’m an artist, I’m not a satanist. They Googled me, and I am perfection to fit a conspiracy theory.”

Marina Abramović has said, that it is absolutely disturbing, because she had to change her email after receiving death threats.

She continues, “One said: ‘I will reveal your deepest secrets in two hours.’ I started laughing, because I don’t have any secrets. I hope they will leave me alone. It’s horrible because it gives a shadow to the meaning of my work.”

Yes, indeed, we like profoundly sexy weirdness over here.

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