The Artist is Present

As Marina Abramovic’s retrospective draws to a close at the Museum of Modern Art there has been a flurry of documentation and critical commentary. The piece The Artist Is Present can still be viewed live on the MOMA website through May 31.
Arthur Danto reflects on MA’s personal charisma and his own experience participating in her piece The Artist Is Present at the New York TImes.
Several articles at New York Magazine discuss the experiences of performing and recreating some of MA’s pieces in the show and again celebrate the ways in which the artist connects with the public (in Jerry Salz’s review). another comment reflects on how MA went to the bathroom.
The solemn celebration continues in the MOMA documentation, which houses a portrait site of MA’s interlocutors.
There was one piece about the slightly unfair way in which people get access to sit opposite MA, who apparently started early so that Bjork, Matthew Barney and her daughter could get in the front of the queue.
From my own experience visiting the exhibition, but not sitting in front of MA, I was struck by a general uniformity of response. Either total seriousness or intense emotion. It seemed to be lacking a sense of humor – partially because of the constraints of the institution which require serious security and policing of the event (to the extent that transgressors are banned from the museum for life), the huge neon lit space with its difficult acoustics . The exhibition is a fascinating form of self-making, the artist replicating herself through her performance and reperformances, turning everyone that participates into her…

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One Response to The Artist is Present

  1. Haidy Geismar June 1, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    good summary of the fall out of the final day here: hyperallergic.com/6611/moma-abramovic-line-ends/.
    There was vomit, nudity, and twirling….

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