Mind Over Matter

Marina Abramović: A Celluloid Exploration

Marina Abramović’s work is spiritual, overwhelming, exhausting, painful, emotional, and completely innovative. She is arguably the mother of performance art, pushing the genre to new extremes beginning with her first works in the early 70s. Since then, the Serbian artist (who lives in downtown New York) has continually tested the limits of what she and her enthralled audiences can withstand. Abramović’s newest work, The Artist is Present—the most intense endurance test of her career— is the centerpiece of a retrospective at MoMA, New York, covering the last four decades of her interventions, performances, sound pieces, video works, installations and photography. She is installing herself on a wooden chair for seven hours a day, six days a week, with no breaks for food, water or even the bathroom. The months-long preparation for this staggering feat has been captured by filmmakers Matthew Akers and Jeff Dupre for Marina, a documentary that follows Abramović in the lead up to, and during, the show. This process involved rigorous rehearsals in upstate New York with a group of 36 brave individuals who will create the first-ever “re-performances” of seminal works, including Imponderabilia (1977), in which visitors are forced to squeeze through a tight corridor flanked by a naked man and woman in order to enter the gallery. Today’s extended trailer, with original music from Brooklyn-based songwriter Nathan Halpern, is an exclusive voyage into this woman’s indefatigable body and soul. Of her unique practice, Abramović has said: “The performance is like a phoenix. It always burns, and then comes from its own flames again.”

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Conversations (2)

  • Lorrayne Price
    Wow. My life was just transformed. I feel understood. I know there are humans who are so f-ing cool!! She is it. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
    • Posted By Lorrayne Price
    • December 01, 2011 at 4:46PM
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  • aph kay
    she looks like MARIA CALLAS don't you think?
    • Posted By aph kay
    • September 30, 2010 at 10:35AM
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