Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present

This has got to be one of my favourite films so far from the festival. This documentary followed Marina Abramovic as she prepared for an exhibition curating all of her previous performance pieces and introduced a new one where she sat for three months during gallery hours, facing anyone who sat opposite her. It was a massive hit, there were queues of people waiting overnight to be first into the art gallery to get a chance to participate in the piece. The film contained some archival footage of previous performance pieces such as 'The Lovers', the one where she cuts a pentagram on her abdomen, the one where the naked man and woman stand close to each other and people have to squeeze through them, the one where the audience uses various objects on her naked body, the one where her partner and her fast and sit opposite each other for ages. There was a general consensus from people interviewed, whether they were fans of her work or art exhibitionists, that she is a (if not 'the') most significant and influential performance artist. I really enjoyed seeing her communicating with the camera and cooking and talking about her life/ childhood etc. She has this enviable self-awareness and optimism for life, where she accepts that everything is unpredictable and yet she is un-phased by surprises. It was a long film, however suspenseful, funny and moving all at the same time.

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