Body Art: {Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present} (2012)

artdesigncafé - art | 14 July 2012

Film: Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
20-22 July 2012

Press release text by Walker Art Center

Committed, fearless, and outrageous, Marina Abramović has been redefining what art is for nearly forty years. Using her body as a vehicle, pushing beyond physical and mental limits, and at times risking her life, she creates performances that challenge, shock, and move us. In 2010, she made her grandest and perhaps most personal statement yet with a 730-hour performance as part of her monumental retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

The documentary film Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present takes us inside Abramović’s world as she prepares for the retrospective, one of the most ambitious exhibitions of performance art ever mounted. The Walker presents the regional premiere of the film, with screenings on Friday, July 20 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, July 21 at 3 and 7:30 pm, and Sunday, July 22 at 3 pm. [...]

The film, directed by Matthew Akers, is a mesmerizing cinematic journey inside the world of radical performance, and an intimate portrait of one of the most compelling artists of our time— a charismatic woman “who is never not performing,” as the artist’s longtime friend and MoMA curator Klaus Biesenbach puts it. It also offers fascinating insights into the recent evolution of performance art: its relatively recent move into museum galleries, and Abramović’s campaign to preserve a transient art form through live re-performances. 2012, DCP, 106 minutes.

About Marina Abramović
Marina Abramović, born in 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, is one of the seminal artists of our time. Since the beginning of her career in Yugoslavia during the early 1970s where she attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Abramović has pioneered the use of performance as a visual art form. The body has always been both her subject and medium. Exploring the physical and mental limits of her being, she has withstood pain, exhaustion, and danger in the quest for emotional and spiritual transformation. Abramović’s concern is with creating works that ritualize the simple actions of everyday life like lying, sitting, dreaming, and thinking— in effect the manifestation of a unique mental state. As a vital member of the generation of pioneering performance artists that includes Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci, and Chris Burden, Abramović created some of the most historic early performance pieces and is the only one still making important durational works.

She was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale for her extraordinary video installation/performance piece Balkan Baroque‚ and in 2003 received the Bessie for The House with the Ocean View‚ a 12-day performance at Sean Kelly Gallery, New York.