The nude human form presented in an artistic setting rapidly loses any erotic content even if there was none to begin with. Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present chronicles the most recent museum exhibition of an artist some critics call the one of the most important performance artists of our lifetime.
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present unwinds at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on Sunday, October 7 at 5 pm. (The film plays twice next weekend.) Following the 10/7 screening director Jeff Dupre will take part in a Q&A via Skype.
Abramovic uses her body as tool to provoke audiences into thought. Where those thoughts lead is up to the viewer. In one previous exhibit patrons had to squeeze past a naked man and naked woman to enter, and the portal leaves little room for negotiation. Speaking in a pronounced Eastern European accent Abramovic reflects on some of her motives and goals.
The majority of the documentary deals with a show where Marina sits in a chair (equipped with a pee hole) across a table from attendees also seated for as long as they want. A history of some of her other exhibits indicate that the artist isn’t adverse to bleeding, scourging or contemplating their navel to get results.
Music Box Films will also release Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present on DVD complete with several extras on October 16.
— Michael Bergeron