‘Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present’ @ ICA reviewed.

, 25 July 2012
reviews

When Marina Abramovic says “audience is like dog [sic]”, it’s not intended as an insult. Instead she qualifies that “they can feel immediately that you are afraid, that you are insecure, that you are not in the right state of mind, and they just leave… the whole tension is gone.” Screening at the ICA last week Matthew Akers’ intimate documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present follows the grandmother of performance art over the course of a full year, throughout the realization of her retrospective at the MOMA New York in 2010. Abramovic is a master of creating powerful shared experience with an actively engaged viewer. And, in using her own body as a medium over a career spanning more than four decades, she knows what she’s talking about.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,        Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

As an artist, Abramovic is undeniably driven, putting herself in precarious and sometimes dangerous positions requiring absolute focus and stamina. This is best exemplified in her famously radical performance “Rhythm 0”(74), in which she placed an array of objects, including honey, a whip, a bullet and a gun, on a table and assumed a passive role while the audience was encouraged to use the objects to manipulate her body. The performance ended six hours later after one person loaded the gun and aimed it at her head, while she remained motionless; another audience member stepped in and removed the gun. In the documentary, Abramovic reflects on the extreme mental and emotional depth she goes to, describing her ability in this altered state to push her body to achieve things she wouldn’t normally be able to do.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present" Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,        Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

This strong sense of discipline could be attributed to a rather eccentric military upbringing. Born in Belgrade to Yugoslav Partisan parents, Abramovic openly discusses her relationship with a dictatorial mother who discouraged affection, imposing strict curfews right up until the age of 29. What’s most astonishing is that during this time she would carry out provocative performances, naked and cutting herself, whipping herself or leaping through fire, before returning home by 10pm. This regimented childhood has had a pervasive impact on her artistic practice, the ritual of repetition has manifest in all of her performance, albeit grounded in a more pagan ideology.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,          Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

The film includes fascinating dialogue with the men in her life. Her assistant, ex husband, curator, manager and former lover and collaborator Ulay all testify to the mysterious seductive powers she possesses. Certainly the mass sensation around her MOMA performance “The Artist is Present” was evidence of this. Sitting for 700 hours opposite members of the public in her longest durational piece to date, delirious hoards of people queued outside the museum overnight for the opportunity to be on the receiving end of the artists gaze. The result was a frenzied almost fanatical following in which countless people broke down in their moment as muse.

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,          Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

The film is a multifaceted portrait of a woman playing across many different modes of being. Ultimately she comes across as extremely relatable while discussing complex ideas in straightforward manner but without ever losing her passionate intensity. Abramovic consolidates these personas with precision and ease in her candid monologues as she makes sense of a life’s work in the nebulous world of performance art.

Stewart Uoo brings cult event It’s Get Better to London for a night of POC, queer, feminist + radical perspectives at ICA, Sep 15

13 September 2017

When Marina Abramovic says “audience is like dog [sic]”, it’s not intended as an insult. Instead she qualifies that “they can feel immediately that you are afraid, that you are insecure, that you are not in the right state of mind, and they just leave… the whole tension is gone.” Screening at the ICA last week Matthew Akers’ intimate documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present follows the grandmother of performance art over the course of a full year, throughout the realization of her retrospective at the MOMA New York in 2010. Abramovic is a master of creating powerful shared experience with an actively engaged viewer. And, in using her own body as a medium over a career spanning more than four decades, she knows what she’s talking about.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,        Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

As an artist, Abramovic is undeniably driven, putting herself in precarious and sometimes dangerous positions requiring absolute focus and stamina. This is best exemplified in her famously radical performance “Rhythm 0”(74), in which she placed an array of objects, including honey, a whip, a bullet and a gun, on a table and assumed a passive role while the audience was encouraged to use the objects to manipulate her body. The performance ended six hours later after one person loaded the gun and aimed it at her head, while she remained motionless; another audience member stepped in and removed the gun. In the documentary, Abramovic reflects on the extreme mental and emotional depth she goes to, describing her ability in this altered state to push her body to achieve things she wouldn’t normally be able to do.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present" Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,        Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

This strong sense of discipline could be attributed to a rather eccentric military upbringing. Born in Belgrade to Yugoslav Partisan parents, Abramovic openly discusses her relationship with a dictatorial mother who discouraged affection, imposing strict curfews right up until the age of 29. What’s most astonishing is that during this time she would carry out provocative performances, naked and cutting herself, whipping herself or leaping through fire, before returning home by 10pm. This regimented childhood has had a pervasive impact on her artistic practice, the ritual of repetition has manifest in all of her performance, albeit grounded in a more pagan ideology.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,          Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

The film includes fascinating dialogue with the men in her life. Her assistant, ex husband, curator, manager and former lover and collaborator Ulay all testify to the mysterious seductive powers she possesses. Certainly the mass sensation around her MOMA performance “The Artist is Present” was evidence of this. Sitting for 700 hours opposite members of the public in her longest durational piece to date, delirious hoards of people queued outside the museum overnight for the opportunity to be on the receiving end of the artists gaze. The result was a frenzied almost fanatical following in which countless people broke down in their moment as muse.

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,          Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

The film is a multifaceted portrait of a woman playing across many different modes of being. Ultimately she comes across as extremely relatable while discussing complex ideas in straightforward manner but without ever losing her passionate intensity. Abramovic consolidates these personas with precision and ease in her candid monologues as she makes sense of a life’s work in the nebulous world of performance art.

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Geographically-scattered media collective Quantum Natives present Brood Ma, Dane Law, Yearning Kru + others at ICA, Aug 20

15 August 2017

When Marina Abramovic says “audience is like dog [sic]”, it’s not intended as an insult. Instead she qualifies that “they can feel immediately that you are afraid, that you are insecure, that you are not in the right state of mind, and they just leave… the whole tension is gone.” Screening at the ICA last week Matthew Akers’ intimate documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present follows the grandmother of performance art over the course of a full year, throughout the realization of her retrospective at the MOMA New York in 2010. Abramovic is a master of creating powerful shared experience with an actively engaged viewer. And, in using her own body as a medium over a career spanning more than four decades, she knows what she’s talking about.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,        Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

As an artist, Abramovic is undeniably driven, putting herself in precarious and sometimes dangerous positions requiring absolute focus and stamina. This is best exemplified in her famously radical performance “Rhythm 0”(74), in which she placed an array of objects, including honey, a whip, a bullet and a gun, on a table and assumed a passive role while the audience was encouraged to use the objects to manipulate her body. The performance ended six hours later after one person loaded the gun and aimed it at her head, while she remained motionless; another audience member stepped in and removed the gun. In the documentary, Abramovic reflects on the extreme mental and emotional depth she goes to, describing her ability in this altered state to push her body to achieve things she wouldn’t normally be able to do.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present" Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,        Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

This strong sense of discipline could be attributed to a rather eccentric military upbringing. Born in Belgrade to Yugoslav Partisan parents, Abramovic openly discusses her relationship with a dictatorial mother who discouraged affection, imposing strict curfews right up until the age of 29. What’s most astonishing is that during this time she would carry out provocative performances, naked and cutting herself, whipping herself or leaping through fire, before returning home by 10pm. This regimented childhood has had a pervasive impact on her artistic practice, the ritual of repetition has manifest in all of her performance, albeit grounded in a more pagan ideology.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,          Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

The film includes fascinating dialogue with the men in her life. Her assistant, ex husband, curator, manager and former lover and collaborator Ulay all testify to the mysterious seductive powers she possesses. Certainly the mass sensation around her MOMA performance “The Artist is Present” was evidence of this. Sitting for 700 hours opposite members of the public in her longest durational piece to date, delirious hoards of people queued outside the museum overnight for the opportunity to be on the receiving end of the artists gaze. The result was a frenzied almost fanatical following in which countless people broke down in their moment as muse.

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,          Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

The film is a multifaceted portrait of a woman playing across many different modes of being. Ultimately she comes across as extremely relatable while discussing complex ideas in straightforward manner but without ever losing her passionate intensity. Abramovic consolidates these personas with precision and ease in her candid monologues as she makes sense of a life’s work in the nebulous world of performance art.

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Make it odder. Workshops + performances in experimental music patterns with EAVI at ICA, Aug 6

3 August 2017

When Marina Abramovic says “audience is like dog [sic]”, it’s not intended as an insult. Instead she qualifies that “they can feel immediately that you are afraid, that you are insecure, that you are not in the right state of mind, and they just leave… the whole tension is gone.” Screening at the ICA last week Matthew Akers’ intimate documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present follows the grandmother of performance art over the course of a full year, throughout the realization of her retrospective at the MOMA New York in 2010. Abramovic is a master of creating powerful shared experience with an actively engaged viewer. And, in using her own body as a medium over a career spanning more than four decades, she knows what she’s talking about.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,        Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

As an artist, Abramovic is undeniably driven, putting herself in precarious and sometimes dangerous positions requiring absolute focus and stamina. This is best exemplified in her famously radical performance “Rhythm 0”(74), in which she placed an array of objects, including honey, a whip, a bullet and a gun, on a table and assumed a passive role while the audience was encouraged to use the objects to manipulate her body. The performance ended six hours later after one person loaded the gun and aimed it at her head, while she remained motionless; another audience member stepped in and removed the gun. In the documentary, Abramovic reflects on the extreme mental and emotional depth she goes to, describing her ability in this altered state to push her body to achieve things she wouldn’t normally be able to do.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present" Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,        Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

This strong sense of discipline could be attributed to a rather eccentric military upbringing. Born in Belgrade to Yugoslav Partisan parents, Abramovic openly discusses her relationship with a dictatorial mother who discouraged affection, imposing strict curfews right up until the age of 29. What’s most astonishing is that during this time she would carry out provocative performances, naked and cutting herself, whipping herself or leaping through fire, before returning home by 10pm. This regimented childhood has had a pervasive impact on her artistic practice, the ritual of repetition has manifest in all of her performance, albeit grounded in a more pagan ideology.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,          Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

The film includes fascinating dialogue with the men in her life. Her assistant, ex husband, curator, manager and former lover and collaborator Ulay all testify to the mysterious seductive powers she possesses. Certainly the mass sensation around her MOMA performance “The Artist is Present” was evidence of this. Sitting for 700 hours opposite members of the public in her longest durational piece to date, delirious hoards of people queued outside the museum overnight for the opportunity to be on the receiving end of the artists gaze. The result was a frenzied almost fanatical following in which countless people broke down in their moment as muse.

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,          Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

The film is a multifaceted portrait of a woman playing across many different modes of being. Ultimately she comes across as extremely relatable while discussing complex ideas in straightforward manner but without ever losing her passionate intensity. Abramovic consolidates these personas with precision and ease in her candid monologues as she makes sense of a life’s work in the nebulous world of performance art.

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Federico Campagna @ RCAfe, May 25

24 May 2016

When Marina Abramovic says “audience is like dog [sic]”, it’s not intended as an insult. Instead she qualifies that “they can feel immediately that you are afraid, that you are insecure, that you are not in the right state of mind, and they just leave… the whole tension is gone.” Screening at the ICA last week Matthew Akers’ intimate documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present follows the grandmother of performance art over the course of a full year, throughout the realization of her retrospective at the MOMA New York in 2010. Abramovic is a master of creating powerful shared experience with an actively engaged viewer. And, in using her own body as a medium over a career spanning more than four decades, she knows what she’s talking about.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,        Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

As an artist, Abramovic is undeniably driven, putting herself in precarious and sometimes dangerous positions requiring absolute focus and stamina. This is best exemplified in her famously radical performance “Rhythm 0”(74), in which she placed an array of objects, including honey, a whip, a bullet and a gun, on a table and assumed a passive role while the audience was encouraged to use the objects to manipulate her body. The performance ended six hours later after one person loaded the gun and aimed it at her head, while she remained motionless; another audience member stepped in and removed the gun. In the documentary, Abramovic reflects on the extreme mental and emotional depth she goes to, describing her ability in this altered state to push her body to achieve things she wouldn’t normally be able to do.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present" Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,        Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

This strong sense of discipline could be attributed to a rather eccentric military upbringing. Born in Belgrade to Yugoslav Partisan parents, Abramovic openly discusses her relationship with a dictatorial mother who discouraged affection, imposing strict curfews right up until the age of 29. What’s most astonishing is that during this time she would carry out provocative performances, naked and cutting herself, whipping herself or leaping through fire, before returning home by 10pm. This regimented childhood has had a pervasive impact on her artistic practice, the ritual of repetition has manifest in all of her performance, albeit grounded in a more pagan ideology.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,          Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

The film includes fascinating dialogue with the men in her life. Her assistant, ex husband, curator, manager and former lover and collaborator Ulay all testify to the mysterious seductive powers she possesses. Certainly the mass sensation around her MOMA performance “The Artist is Present” was evidence of this. Sitting for 700 hours opposite members of the public in her longest durational piece to date, delirious hoards of people queued outside the museum overnight for the opportunity to be on the receiving end of the artists gaze. The result was a frenzied almost fanatical following in which countless people broke down in their moment as muse.

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,          Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

The film is a multifaceted portrait of a woman playing across many different modes of being. Ultimately she comes across as extremely relatable while discussing complex ideas in straightforward manner but without ever losing her passionate intensity. Abramovic consolidates these personas with precision and ease in her candid monologues as she makes sense of a life’s work in the nebulous world of performance art.

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TEXT2SPEECH: Proxy Politics As Withdrawal @ ICA, May 12

11 May 2016

When Marina Abramovic says “audience is like dog [sic]”, it’s not intended as an insult. Instead she qualifies that “they can feel immediately that you are afraid, that you are insecure, that you are not in the right state of mind, and they just leave… the whole tension is gone.” Screening at the ICA last week Matthew Akers’ intimate documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present follows the grandmother of performance art over the course of a full year, throughout the realization of her retrospective at the MOMA New York in 2010. Abramovic is a master of creating powerful shared experience with an actively engaged viewer. And, in using her own body as a medium over a career spanning more than four decades, she knows what she’s talking about.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,        Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

As an artist, Abramovic is undeniably driven, putting herself in precarious and sometimes dangerous positions requiring absolute focus and stamina. This is best exemplified in her famously radical performance “Rhythm 0”(74), in which she placed an array of objects, including honey, a whip, a bullet and a gun, on a table and assumed a passive role while the audience was encouraged to use the objects to manipulate her body. The performance ended six hours later after one person loaded the gun and aimed it at her head, while she remained motionless; another audience member stepped in and removed the gun. In the documentary, Abramovic reflects on the extreme mental and emotional depth she goes to, describing her ability in this altered state to push her body to achieve things she wouldn’t normally be able to do.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present" Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,        Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

This strong sense of discipline could be attributed to a rather eccentric military upbringing. Born in Belgrade to Yugoslav Partisan parents, Abramovic openly discusses her relationship with a dictatorial mother who discouraged affection, imposing strict curfews right up until the age of 29. What’s most astonishing is that during this time she would carry out provocative performances, naked and cutting herself, whipping herself or leaping through fire, before returning home by 10pm. This regimented childhood has had a pervasive impact on her artistic practice, the ritual of repetition has manifest in all of her performance, albeit grounded in a more pagan ideology.

Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,          Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

The film includes fascinating dialogue with the men in her life. Her assistant, ex husband, curator, manager and former lover and collaborator Ulay all testify to the mysterious seductive powers she possesses. Certainly the mass sensation around her MOMA performance “The Artist is Present” was evidence of this. Sitting for 700 hours opposite members of the public in her longest durational piece to date, delirious hoards of people queued outside the museum overnight for the opportunity to be on the receiving end of the artists gaze. The result was a frenzied almost fanatical following in which countless people broke down in their moment as muse.

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Akers and Show of Force.
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present Film Still, 2010. Image courtesy The ICA London, Marina Abramovic,          Matthew Akers and Show of Force.

The film is a multifaceted portrait of a woman playing across many different modes of being. Ultimately she comes across as extremely relatable while discussing complex ideas in straightforward manner but without ever losing her passionate intensity. Abramovic consolidates these personas with precision and ease in her candid monologues as she makes sense of a life’s work in the nebulous world of performance art.

  share news item