Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present (15)


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Matthew Akers's documentary homage to the Belgrade-born performance artist Marina Abramovic encompasses a record of the title show and a career retrospective.

"The Artist is Present" was a mind-boggling stunt in which Abramovic sat immobile on a wooden chair for eight hours a day at New York's Moma while people lined up for the privilege of staring at her, one to one. Many of the visitors seem quite moved by the experience. The show went on for three months (March to May 2010) and the public was still queueing to the last day. Interspersed with this are clips of her performances from the 1970s and 1980s, which may prompt at least two questions in the non-aficianado : 1) Is this pretentious? 2) Is it actually art? They are somewhat more difficult to answer, considering the likeable and down-to-earth nature of the woman herself.