Marina Abramović:  The Artist Is Present

Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present

Director: Matthew Akers

The New York-based, Serbian-born performer Marina Abramović is one of the most important artists of the second half of the twentieth century. Since Abramović’s career began in the 1970s she has continued to use performance art to enthrall, shock, seduce, and explore the possibilities of the mind.

The Artist Is Present is a feature-length documentary which explores Abramović’s life in full. The central storyline follows Abramović’s preparation for, and performance in, her show at the Museum of Modern Art — the biggest exhibition of performance art in MoMA’s history. As part of the exhibition Abramović performed “The Artist is Present”, an almost 737-hour silent piece in which she sat still in the museum’s atrium while members of the public took turns sitting in front of her. Many were brought to tears as they stared into Abramović’s eyes. Her exploration of the relationship between performer and audience reaches a level that resonates deeply within all that witness it.

This film documents the life of one of the most compelling artists of our time. On watching, the distinction between the real world and art blurs rapidly. The only thing stopping us from descending into chaos is Abramović’s hypnotic, life-changing gaze.

Screening at Rialto Cinemas on Thursday August 9 at 8.15pm, on Saturday August 11 at 3.30pm and on Monday August 13 at 1.30pm, preceded by the short film In Safe Hands.
This article first appeared in Issue 19, 2012.
Posted 4:49pm Sunday 5th August 2012 by Loulou Callister-Baker.