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MoMA Anounces First U.S. Retrospective of Marina Abramovic's Work
Marina Abramovic. Luminosity. 1997. Originally performed for 2 hours. Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. Courtesy Marina Abramovic Archive and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. © 2009 Marina Abramovic.
NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art presents Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present, the first U.S. large-scale museum retrospective of the artist’s groundbreaking performance work, from March 14 to May 31, 2010. Internationally recognized as a pioneer and key figure in performance art, Marina Abramović (Serbian, b. 1946) uses her own body as subject, object, and medium, exploring the physical and mental limits of her being by creating pieces that require her to withstand pain, exhaustion, and discomfort in the quest for artistic, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual transformation. The exhibition traces Abramović’s prolific career with approximately 50 works spanning over four decades of early interventions and sound pieces, video works, installations, photography, solo performances, and collaborative performances. Also included are the world premiere of a new work to be performed by Abramović herself and "reperformances" of influential historical pieces by performers selected especially for this exhibition. The live reperformances complement and amplify a chronological installation of the artist’s work that shows the different modes of representing, documenting, and exhibiting her ephemeral, time- and media-based works. Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art.

Abramović, best known for her durational works, has created a new work for this retrospective—The Artist Is Present (2010)—that she will perform daily throughout the run of the exhibition. For her longest solo piece to date, Abramović will sit in silence at a table in the Museum’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium during public hours, passively inviting visitors to take the seat across from her for as long as they choose within the timeframe of the Museum’s hours of operation. Although she will not respond verbally, participation by Museum visitors completes the piece and allows them to have a personal experience with the artist and the artwork.

The historical exhibition in the Museum’s sixth-floor galleries will feature the first live reperformances of five landmark Abramović performance pieces, alongside video and photographic documentation of the original performances, incorporated within the chronological presentation of the artist’s career. They are Imponderabilia (1977), in which a nude man and woman stand opposite each other in a doorway, so that visitors who wish to pass must move through the gap between the two, deciding to face him or her; Relation in Time (1977), in which two performers sit quietly, connected to each other by their long hair, which is tied together; Point of Contact (1980), in which two performers stand face to face with arms bent, maintaining contact only by nearly touching the tip of each other’s index finger; Nude with Skeleton (2002–05), in which a nude performer lies beneath a skeleton, animating it with the motions of his or her breathing; and Luminosity (1997), in which a nude female performer, suspended high upon a wall and immersed in a square of light, gives the appearance of floating before the wall. Imponderabilia, Relation in Time, and Point of Contact were originally created and performed by Abramović and the performance artist Ulay (German, b. 1943), her partner from 1977 to 1988. A group of approximately 35 performers chosen by Abramović will reperform these pieces continuously throughout public hours in the sixth floor galleries.

The Museum of Modern Art | Marina Abramovi | The Artist Is Present |




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