For me, the most difficult piece is the one I'm about to make.
People put so much effort into starting a relationship and so little effort into ending one.
Theater is something that as a performance artist you have to hate.
Performance has to be mainstream art. This is what I'm fighting for.
You know I very much respect Yvonne Rainer, she is very important - in American dance, the entire development of modern dance, and creating a wonderful physical language.
Happiness comes from the full understanding of your own being.
I didn't get paid for performances most of my life. If I did, I would be billionaire now, and I'm not.
All my inspiration comes from life. That's how it never stops, in a way.
You know how you feel somebody looking at you, and you turn, and somebody actually is? It's the same at an art gallery. You're looking at one portrait, turn around, and there is a work of art directly behind you. Because it's all energy. Every single thing has energy.
I really don't like art where you need to know so much theory to understand. If the theory is removed, it doesn't do anything. That means that this work is an illustration of theory, and I don't believe in the power of the work itself.
I was friends with Susan Sontag the last four years of her life. She had this amazing charisma and so much energy, but she had a sad little funeral in Montparnasse in Paris. It was rainy. It was all wrong. And I was thinking, 'God, she loved life so much.'
It's very important that young artists push boundaries, because sometimes you have this urge to do something - like the impulsive and dangerous urges I had as a child - and if you don't follow through with it you might miss out on a developmental experience.
The hardest thing to do is something that is close to nothing.
The most revolutionary ideas are not sellable, but only mind-changing.
Woody Allen has a wonderful line: 'Today I'm a star. What will I be tomorrow? A black hole?' That's very important to know - that you have the moment, then you lose the moment. You have to see your chances, you have to take them, and you also have to see when you don't have chances to take.
Once you live in New York, you can't live anywhere else. Living in Paris is like going in slow motion. It's so bourgeois. I get so bored.
People ask why there are so few female artists who succeed. It's because women are not ready to sacrifice as much as men. Women want a man, they want a family, they want to have children, they want to be loved, and to be an artist. And they can't; it's impossible.
I hate kitchens. I don't understand these enormous American kitchens that take up half the living room and then they just order pizza.
I believe so much in the power of performance I don't want to convince people. I want them to experience it and come away convinced on their own.
Your ego can become an obstacle to your work. If you start believing in your greatness, it is the death of your creativity.
You can't choreograph death, but you can choreograph your funeral.
In every ancient culture, there are rituals to mortify the body as a way of understanding that the energy of the soul is indestructible.
If you're a baker, making bread, you're a baker. If you make the best bread in the world, you're not an artist, but if you bake the bread in the gallery, you're an artist. So the context makes the difference.
I hate studio. For me, studio is a trap to overproduce and repeat yourself. It is a habit that leads to art pollution.
I don't know anything about the afterlife because I haven't been there yet.
I really think there's no difference between an art piece made by a man and one made by a woman. Is it a good art piece or a bad art piece? Of course, if you're female, you're maybe dealing with different issues.
To really change the way society thinks, you have to give your entire being to it until there's nothing left.
You know, art is very emotional business. But mostly it becomes not emotional, the fabric of commodity. It becomes business. It becomes so many different things. Because we forgot there was emotions involved.
First of all, to do performance art, you really have to give 100 percent. I only know that I have to give 100 percent and then what happens, happens.
If you see a Renaissance body, this is completely ugly in this time. Everybody has to be skinny. But the Renaissance body with incredible flow of the meat everywhere, it was beauty.
We make such terrible mistakes with visual choices about beauty.
I had a very difficult relationship with my mother. She used to wake me up in the middle of the night if I wasn't sleeping straight and was messing up the sheets. Now when I stay in hotels I sleep so straight they don't even think I've used the bed.
You know, James Franco is one of the most interesting figures because he has no rules. He breaks all the borders.
Because of technology, we don't develop telepathy. We don't use telepathy, but use, you know, the mobile phones. Why?
Artists should never think of themselves as an idol. Fame is a side effect of one's work.
You know, everyone is always talking about plastic surgery, or the technology, what to do. I really think it's important to help yourself with the technology if you want to feel better, but I am absolutely against any kind of monstrous cuts of the body, lifting that is beyond recognition, this kind of stuff.
In theater, blood is ketchup; in performance, everything's real.
When I was 14, I thought I looked terrible. I wore these typical Slavic shoes with metal bottoms so you could always hear me coming and this really ugly princess skirt and blouse with the top button closed. I had a boy haircut, a baby face covered with pimples, and a really big nose.
In my work I have complete control, but about my life, I don't want to.
From the moment you are born, you could die. I think as an artist it is important to meditate on that.
To control the breathing is to control the mind. With different patterns of breathing, you can fall in love, you can hate someone, you can feel the whole spectrum of feelings just by changing your breathing.
I am not a therapist. I am not a spiritual leader. These elements are in the art: it is therapeutic, spiritual, social and political - everything. It has many layers. But art has to have many layers. If it doesn't, then forget it.
The big problem of our modern society is that we feel that we are separated from the nature. But it's just the opposite. We are interrelated and our DNA is the same. And only when human beings understand that, the nature will not be obstacle.
When you have a nonverbal conversation with a total stranger, then he can't cover himself with words, he can't create a wall.