Starting the week off with a new surge of attention towards his music streaming service, Tidal, through the exclusive “Feelin’ Myself” video by his wife and her partner in crime, Nicki Minaj, being dropped on his platform, music mogul Jay Z had the rug pulled out from under him by famous Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic the other day when she accused him of “completely using her.” Marina’s 2010 performance piece, “The Artist is Present,” was reinterpreted by the hip hop veteran in his HBO special, Picasso Baby, which saw him performing the title track for 6 hours at the Pace gallery in New York. This was sanctioned by the artist in return for a financial contribution towards her art institute, something Ms. Abramovic claims never happen. As she says, “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.” Today however, Jay Z’s camp responded accordingly with a thorough rebuke courtesy of an interview with Artnet by Picasso Baby video director Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn. In the interview, the director provides a receipt number to the rapper’s substantial donation to Marina’s institute, as well as a curt thank you note from the artist. Perhaps this whole endeavor is a performance within itself.
Although recent updates have shown that the Marina Abramovic Institute have issued an apology to both Jay Z and Marina, stating that Ms. Abramovic was uninformed of the donation before the interview. “We are sincerely sorry to both Marina Abramovi'c and Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter for this, and since then we have taken appropriate actions to reconcile this matter.”
Marina’s camp has issued an apology following evidence of the receipt.