Monday, December 9, 2013

Body Art

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present (2011) - Akers, Dupre
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I didn't know Abramovic's MoMA show in 2011 was such a big deal. I do remember seeing the glimpse of her sitting in a chair against one gleeful patrons after another when I went to see William Kentridge show then. She drew a lot of crowd. I've never been a fan of performance art and just ignored her exhibition completely when it was on.

The film is a great introduction to her body of work. Born in former Yugoslavia, it was her communist hero parents' strict upbringing that shaped her as an artist that primarily uses her body to express. Her 60s-70s radical performance art is not quite dissimilar and equally annoying in that 'radical feminist art', 'I am naked and will balance myself on a stake' way. She and her long time partner/lover Ulay performed the war of the sexes until they broke up after The Great Wall Walk, where they walked from opposite end toward each other. The rest of the film leads up to her MoMA performance. I have to say I was moved by her sitting in one place day after day facing different people for three months. At 62, she looks great and her stamina is astounding. The performance brings out different reactions and emotions out of people. It's quite affecting. I'm very excited about seeing her new performance piece in Robert Wilson's Life and Death of Marina Abramovic next weekend.

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