Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present Review

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A documentary that follows the Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic as she prepares for a retrospective of her work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the biggest show of her career.


The Serbian artist's first full retrospective in New York is the framing device for this deceptively profound documentary about the impact of art as a shared experience. Having made her name working at the more avant-garde end of performance pieces in the ’60s and ’70s, Marina Abramovic is now the grande dame of the form and no longer its enfant terrible. Pretentious it may be, but her work does have value, and in a time of reality TV and talent shows it’s great to see that there’s still an audience for such abstract and yet strangely compelling stuff.

A little pretentious maybe, but then you've got to wonder at a woman who could sit motionless in a wooden chair, eight hours a day for three months.