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Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present (15)
Dir: Matthew Akers, Jeff Dupre Cast: Marina Abramovic, Ulay, Klaus Biesenbach 106 mins, 2012, USA Please note: this was screened in Sept 2012
In 2010, New York's Museum of Modern Art presented a Marina Abramovic retrospective, famously featuring the uncompromising Yugoslavia-born performance artist herself in situ, impassively facing down a stream of museum-goers brave enough to sit across a table from her - for eight hours a day, every day, for three months.
Using the MoMA show as a springboard, Matthew Akers' film is a fascinating depiction of a career spanning almost forty years, and one which has generated controversy at every turn as a result of Abramovic's passionate, confrontational, and often bloody performance pieces. Now a grandee of the art world, she remains a magnetic figure, offering frank commentary on her art and her life amidst the preparations for her retrospective.
Constructing a detailed portrait of Abramovic as well as documenting the physical and emotional toil of her titular three-month performance, The Artist Is Present is a compelling watch both for aficionados and newcomers to her remarkable body of work.