Seductive, fearless, and outrageous, Marina Abramović has been redefining what art is for nearly forty years. Using her own body as a vehicle, pushing herself beyond her physical and mental limits––and at times risking her life in the process––she creates performances that challenge, shock, and move us. Through her and with her, boundaries are crossed, consciousness expanded, and art as we know it is reborn. She is, quite simply, one of the most compelling artists of our time.
She is also a glamorous art-world icon, a lightning rod for controversy, and a myth of her own making. She is most certainly unlike anyone you have ever met before.
The feature-length documentary film Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present takes us inside Marina’s world, following her as she prepares for what may be the most important moment of her life: a major retrospective of her work, taking place at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. To be given a retrospective at one of the world's premiere museums is, for any living artist, the most exhilarating sort of milestone. For Marina, it is far more: it is the chance to finally silence the question she has been hearing over and over again for four decades: "But why is this art?"
Elevating traditional documentary techniques with an artistic gloss befitting its subject, Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present is by no means a typical "art film." With total access granted by Abramović and The Museum of Modern Art, the work is instead a mesmerizing cinematic journey inside the world of radical performance, and an intimate portrait of an astonishingly magnetic, endlessly intriguing woman who draws no distinction between life and art.
"...the film gives us a full sense of a personality and intelligence so riveting that we begin to comprehend why all those hundreds of thousands lined up at the MoMA." - San Francisco Chronicle
USA | 2012 | not rated | 106 min
First Friday Films is a collaboration between the Farnsworth Art Museum and The Strand Theatre in Rockland presented on the first Friday of the month. The films focus on artists and the visual arts, with a brief discussion following the screening.