Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Marina Abramovic, "The Artist is Present" (2010)


This week I have chosen a particularly interesting piece taken from a retrospective of Marina Abramovic (b.1946) at MoMA NY. Abramovic is a Serbian artist, but is based in New York and specialises in performance and installation art that typically features herself. her work intends to ask questions about the individuals relationship with the body, with other bodies and their own relationship with themselves.

Her previous works have included pieces entitled "Rhythm 10", "Rhythm 2" and "Rhythm 5" which discusses ideas of rituals and gesture, pain and unconsciousness respectively. Her work is highly sensationalist, for example in "Rhythm 10" she played a traditional knife game, recording herself. After the recording ended she attempted to replicate the previous game, including the previously made mistakes and injuries. The desire was to merge feelings of past and present and the pain of doing so, even though it is necessary.

This particular piece from "The Artist is Present" involves Abramovic sitting immobile at a table in the MoMA's atrium staring at individuals who choose to sit opposite her, for a period of her choosing (it could last between a few minutes to over an hour). Perhaps it is a reflection of her career, a desire to stare at Abramovic and to deconstruct her.

What is particularly interesting is how a photographic portrait was taken of every persons face who sat across from Abramovic being collated into a slide show on the exhibition website. This piece fuses together many medias of art, between performance, installation and photography.

There is a link below leading to the slide show of participants
http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2010/marinaabramovic/

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