Marina Abramovic, “The Artist is Present”, 2010

“The performance consisted of the artist being present on a wooden chair, in MOMA’s atrium, in a long-sleeved gown with a pooling train, for seven hours a day, six days a week, from the opening on March 15th, until the closing on May 31st—a historic ordeal. Throughout the performance, she was perfectly silent and virtually immobile (her features registered vicissitudes of emotion, and on the first night, when Ulay took a brief turn in the facing chair, she stretched out her hands to him.) Thereafter, members of the public were invited to sit opposite her—at first, on the other side of a table, and then, when the table was removed, with nothing but space between them. Many of the sitters whom Akers chose to include in the film (including the actor James Franco, who went unrecognized) seem to be having a transcendent experience. Their eyes grow bright; tears well and fall; they bow their heads or touch their hearts—and Abramovic occasionally touches hers.”



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