11 April 2024

After stroke: Marina Abramović to receive the Sonning Prize

Sonning Prize

In 2023, the award of the Sonning Prize was cancelled at the last minute as the recipient, Marina Abramović, was rushed to hospital. Now, she will visit the University of Copenhagen to receive the prize.

Marina Abramović
In her uncompromising artistic presence, Marina Abramović challenges cultural boundaries, bodily boundaries, gender boundaries and boundaries between art. Foto: Attilio Maranzano - Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives

About a year ago, the internationally renowned performance artist Marina Abramović was to have received the Sonning Prize at the University of Copenhagen. On the day of her departure to Copenhagen, she was hospitalised with a near-fatal blood clot in her lungs. She underwent three life-saving surgeries, had several blood transfusions and was on a ventilator, which she describes in her new book from 2023: Marina Abramović: A Visual Biography.

Marina Abramović has now made a full recovery and will be awarded the Sonning Prize on Friday 19 April.

“First of all, I’m happy and relieved that Marina Abramović has recovered from the life-threatening stroke she suffered last year, just before leaving for Copenhagen to receive the Sonning Prize. I’m looking very much forward to honouring her for her long-lasting and quite unique contribution to European cultural history," says Henrik C. Wegener, Rector of the University of Copenhagen.

Marina Abramović is awarded the Sonning Prize for her five decades of groundbreaking and transcendent works, which the University of Copenhagen described in the press release announcing her as the recipient of the Sonning Prize 2023.

Time and place

The Sonning Prize 2023 will be awarded on Friday 19 April in the Ceremonial Hall at the University of Copenhagen, entrance from Frue Plads. Doors open at 12:30.

The media are welcome upon presentation of a valid press pass. Registration is not required. The doors close at 12:50. After the ceremony, around 14:30, a short press conference will be held, where the media can put questions to Marina Abramović .


Jesper Tang Nielsen
Visiting researcher at the Faculty of Theology
University of Copenhagen
Email: jtn@kvvv.dk
tel.: +45 24 94 26 28

Nena Sue Thomassen
Communications Consultant
University of Copenhagen
Email: nst@adm.ku.dk
tel.: +45 35 33 26 36