Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present

Last night, I finally got to see the documentary based on Marina Abramovic’s MOMA performance called ‘The Artist Is Present’. She did some pretty funky things in her days (and still does), so I was really looking forward to see this and watch her do her thing. What first attracted me to her performance was the concept of people bonding without doing anything but starring, leaving out all those little ‘tricks’ we do to impress – a smart remark, an interesting conversation, good looking clothes aso. It sounds hard and of course it can be achieved through exercise and lots of meditation, but still, we’re talking 3 months of sitting, morning till evening (which amounted to 736 hours and 30 minutes!), and also Connecting with the person in front. The whole thing was really moving and what was most important is that it was moving for the person sitting on that chair across her. Plus you get to learn more about her life, childhood, how it all started, how she got here, how she is a fashion addict herself and many other things or personal remarks (like this one “As I say, the shittier childhood, the better artist you become”).

The movie also aired during the Melbourne Movie Festival but it was sold out before I could even blink, so I was hoping to see it on Tv at some point. Interesting enough, the idea of this entire performance came from one of her trips to Australia, when she and her then boyfriend spent a lot of time in the Australian bushland about which she remarked ‘I went to places that Australians don’t go’.  Anyway, luck has struck and SBS Australia decided to put it on their viewing list. You can usually see the movie online 2 more weeks after its airing, so I’ll keep an eye out and see if it becomes available. Until then, here’s the trailer.


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