Balenciaga was forced to apologize after a fashion campaign featured young girls holding teddy bears in bondage gear, standing on top of papers that referred to a landmark Supreme Court case about child pornography. Social media users were appalled at how clearly inappropriate the message was and how little regard there was for the children. TikTokers publicly burned their Balenciaga products while pretty much every single celebrity stayed silent. Kim Kardashian, who has had a longstanding professional relationship with Balenciaga, released a milquetoast statement a whole week after the campaign became viral news, blandly stating that she was disappointed in the fashion campaign and was re-evaluating her working relationship with them. But she still hasn't fully decided if she wants to cut ties with Balenciaga yet.
Since the #BalenciagaGate floodgates opened, investigative journalists and curious social media users took some deep dives to find out just how deeply intertwined the high-fashion world is with images and "art" seemingly relating to occultism, Satanism, pedophilia, cannibalism, and more. Marina Abramovic is the most recent topic of discussion after people started to connect the dots between her, the fashion world, and even the political elites in DC.
Marina Abramovic's Work Is Disturbing and Reminiscent of the Occult
If you've been a loyal follower of Vogue over the last several years, you have probably seen Marina Abramovic's work, whether you knew it at the time or not. She's a 76-year-old Serbian conceptual artist who has been rubbing shoulders with some of the world's most powerful and famous people for the last couple decades, and she's a pillar of the high-fashion world. On paper, Abramovic's work is meant to explore feminist art, the possibilities of the mind, and the limits of the body. But it doesn't take much to see that her work is dripping with references to the occult, Satanism, pedophilia, and more disturbing themes.
Let's start with one of her most famous magazine covers, a 2014 edition of Ukrainian Vogue. She's standing behind what appears to be a young girl, standing menacingly with her hands on the girl's shoulders. They're both wearing solid red clothing with their hair parted in the middle and pulled back. It looks ominous at best. The rest of the spread is deeply disturbing. In one photo, Abramovic is holding a bloody, skinned goat head, which is apparently a representation of how magical power is drawn from Baphomet, a pagan idol in the Satanic Church.
In another photo from that spread, Abramovic stands behind what is supposed to be a dead body, a woman laying on a table completely naked with her guts and organs spilling out onto herself. Abramovic makes the hand sign that is said to be associated with occultism. There's yet another creepy photo of the "dead" model sitting up holding her own organs that are spilling out of her body, and Abramovic is standing right behind heroic caressing her with one hand and making the same sign with her other hand that is allegedly associated with occultism.
This is just one of many photo shoots that have involved Abramovic, and most others are just as weird and disturbing.
Twitter user @itsnatlydenise found another photo (its origins are unknown) in which Abramovic is wearing bright red robes with a long, pointy red hat. The outfit shares a resemblance to occult robes and also to the hidden Michael Borremans book Fire From the Sun in Balenciaga's most recent campaign (the one that followed the creepy kids shoot), featuring paintings of strange occultist outfits with sinister undertones.
Her performance art has been equally weird, although it has been praised by publications such as the New Yorker. In 2005, she performed a piece on stage with the following description in the program notes:
"I slowly eat 1 kilo of honey with a silver spoon.
I slowly drink 1 liter of wine out of a crystal glass.
I break the glass with my right hand.
I cut a five-pointed star on my stomach with a razor blade.
I violently whip myself until I no longer feel any pain.
I lay down on a cross made of ice blocks.
The heat of a suspended heater pointed at my stomach causes the cut star to bleed.
The rest of my body begins to freeze.
I remain on the ice cross for 30 minutes until the public interrupts the piece by removing the ice blocks from underneath me."
Marina Abramovic Has Close Relationships With Many Powerful, Famous People
She's a renowned name in the world of high fashion and she's been on the cover of Harper's Bazaar Art, Elle Magazine, and Vogue. Sidenote: none of these magazines denounced fashion brand Balenciaga after their pedophilic campaign featuring young girls and bondage teddy bears.
Abramovic is deep into the world of fashion and Hollywood, and she has worked closely and privately with Lady Gaga. But that's just the beginning. Leaked emails showed that Abramovic was in regular contact with John Podesta, the Chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton, and Counselor to President Barack Obama. She invited him to an event called Spirit Cooking.
"I am am looking forward to the Spirit Cooking dinner at my place. Do you think you will be able to let me know if your brother is joining?" she asks in the email. If you're not sure what a Spirit Cooking is, here is a video of Abramovic preparing for it, complete with pig blood being splattered all over the walls.
"Mix fresh breast milk with fresh sperm milk, Drink on earthquake nights," she writes on the wall. Spirit cooking is apparently “a sacrament in the religion of Thelema which was founded by Aleister Crowley." It includes an occult performance including menstrual blood, urine, sperm, and breast milk.
Why would this kind of woman be so involved in high fashion and political circles? It gets worse, though. One Twitter user pointed out that Abramovic is on the U.S. Department of State payroll. She has her very own bio on the Art in Embassies section of the website.
"A pioneer and key figure in performance art, Marina Abramovic uses her own body as subject, object, and medium, exploring the physical and mental limits of her being. Abramovic’s prolific caree spans over four decades of interventions and sound pieces, video works, installations, photography, solo performances, and collaborative performances," the site reads.
At this point, it's almost impossible to deny that Abramovic is yet another figure in the art and fashion (and political) world who is obsessed with occultism, and her influence reaches far and wide in American culture.