In search of personal healing and artistic inspiration, Marina Abramovic travels through Brazil experiencing sacred rituals and exploring limits between art, immateriality and consciousness. How far will she go to create her work of art?
Marco Del Fiol
Dorothy W. Cooke,
Narcisa Cândido da Conceição
About the performing body and how it affects viscerally the people who confronts it, looks at it and participates in the transcendental experience that is its primary affect. The ceremonial... See full summary »
"Bob Wilson's Life & Death of Marina Abramovic" follows the coming together of director Robert Wilson, performance artist Marina Abramovic, singer and composer Antony Hegarty and performer ... See full summary »
Ulay is conceptual artist Frank Uwe Laysiepen, whose photography pushed the boundaries of the medium, and whose love affair with Marina Ambramovic produced some of the world's best-known ... See full summary »
Director Tamra Davis pays homage to her friend in this definitive documentary but also delves into Basquiat as an iconoclast. His dense, bebop-influenced neoexpressionist work emerged while... See full summary »
Jean Michel Basquiat,
This feature-length documentary film follows the artist as she prepares for what may be the most important moment of her life: a major retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. To be given a retrospective at one of the world's premiere museums is, for any living artist, the most exhilarating sort of milestone. For Marina, it is far more - it is the chance to finally silence the question she has been hearing over and over again for four decades: 'But why is this art?' Written by
If you're alternative when you're young, when you're 18, and 19, and 20, and you're still alternative with 29 and you're alternative with 30, and you're alternative with 40, and you're alternative with 50, but excuse me... I'm 63. I don't want to be alternative anymore.
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I remember when there were people going to MOMA in droves to sit across from some artist I'd never heard of. I heard people say it was a very moving experience. It sounded nuts to me. So I was curious to see if I could get a sense of what it was all about from this movie.
I suppose I did, a little bit. The movie is made by people who want to be a bit artsy about it all, with jump shots and some shaky camera-work, but it does give you the basics. Marina is a long-time performance artist who specializes in feats of endurance, like running repeatedly into a wall or sitting naked on a bicycle seat for hours. She is very sincere, very determined, and seems to be someone who lives her art. There are scenes of her with her ex-partner/lover in which she is driving and cooking dinner which give you a glimpse into the mundane aspects of life that even those living for their art experience.
Most of the second half of the movie is devoted to her three months sitting staring at people who stare back. You see how physically grueling the experience is, you see how moved many people are, and you say how insane things got, with people camping out all night, desperate to get in early enough to spend some time having a famous artist stare at them.
The movie doesn't really recreate the experience. It's rather glossy at times, with a soundtrack that I'm sure creates a different experience than what I assume was simply the buzz of the crowd and the noise from any video projections nearby.
I'm amazed that some people here said they were moved by this movie. It's an interesting view of a performance artist, offering occasional mild insights from her friends and giving some understanding of her approach.
I'm also surprised that some people expected more of this movie, like a complete investigation of her career, or questions into how performance art fits into the art world. The movie is called The Artist is Present, and it's focused on that show, and that piece, and it's by someone who clearly buys into performance artist (I've always thought this sort of thing was interesting but kooky). It's exactly the sort of documentary I would expect someone who is intrigued by Marina would be inclined to make.
The movie absolutely did not make me wish I'd gone up to MOMA to stare at her, although it makes me feel, just a little, that maybe I should have gone up to see the recreations of her previous pieces and take a quick peek at her face-offs. But it's not something I'm losing sleep over.
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