Marina Abramovic at MoMA - The Artist is Present

For 761 1/2 hours Marina Abramovic sits at MoMA staring silently into the eyes of visitors to the museum for a length of time chosen by the artist.

A nice addition to the retrospective upstairs, where video of earlier works are shown along with recreations of important pieces being done live which effectively blurs the line between performance art and theater. Her pieces involve extreme endurance and allowing herself to be vulnerable. This poses an important question if she is exposing herself to these situations she is clearly the artist. If not performed by her does she become a playwright and the performers merely actors? Performance art versus performance?

Also shown are the collaborations with her former partner Ulay. Born on the same day they worked together for years. They planned to walk from opposite ends of the Great Wall of China, a thousand miles for each of them and to get married where they meet in the middle. It took them 8 years to get permission from the Chinese government to make the journey. Their relationship ended in the meantime so performed the piece (the only piece they ever performed without an audience) with the idea saying goodbye at the end of the piece. Sad and moving but the ultimate in closure.
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