First Large-Scale Retrospective of Marina Abramović at MoMA
March 14 - May 31, 2010
Marina Abramovi?, born in Yugoslavia in 1946, uses her own body as subject, object, and medium. She explores the physical and mental limits of her being by creating pieces that require her to withstand pain, exhaustion, and discomfort in the quest for transformation. Organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, the first large-scale retrospective of Abramovi?’s work is on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from March 14 - May 31.
The exhibition, “The Artist is Present,” traces Abramovi?’s prolific career with approximately fifty works spanning over four decades. The exhibition includes early interventions and sound pieces, video works, installations, photography, and solo and collaborative performances. Live performances complement the chronological presentation of works, including the world premiere of a new piece to be performed by Abramovi? herself and “reperformances” of influential historical pieces.
The new work created for this retrospective is Abramovi?’s longest solo piece to date. The Artist Is Present is performed daily throughout the entire run of the exhibition. Abramovi? sits in silence at a table in the museum’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium as long as the museum is open, passively inviting visitors to take the seat across from her for as long as they choose. 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 museum’s sixth-floor galleries feature the first live “reperformances” of five landmark Abramovi? performance pieces, alongside video and photographic documentation of the original performances. Three of these pieces were originally created and performed by Abramovi? and the artist Ulay, her partner from 1977 to 1988. A group of approximately thirty-five performers chosen specifically by Abramovi? continuously “reperform” these pieces.