Performance Art is a ‘live’ form of expression by an artist, whose body serves as the medium through which his actions become his work of art. The term, used first around the 1960’s was practiced to challenge the conventional meanings of ‘art’, a term that generally referred to sculptures and painting. The broad term, performance art, mainly consists of time, space, the artist’s body and public interaction. An amalgamation of all the elements is a requisite for a work of art to be a performance art.
The Artist Is Present: March – May 2010
MoMA Curator Klaus Biesenbach puts it: “Marina is never not performing.”
From March 14 to May 31, 2010, the Museum of Modern Art held a performance recreation of Abramović’s work. The Artist Is Present was a 736-hour and 30-minute static, silent piece, in which she sat immobile in the museum’s atrium while spectators were invited to take turns sitting opposite her. Her work displayed all over the Museum, was visited by numerous people everyday for three months and each visitor was given instructions to not speak or touch the artist. The line of visitors became longer and longer each day.
Marina in comparison to her other work which is far more dramatic and theatrical found the thought of this piece to be physically and emotionally draining. The thought of it made her nauseous and so she chose to go ahead with the piece. It was finally her chance to ‘silence’ the question she’d been hearing over and over again that questioned her art. The longest solo piece done by Marina was a true portrayal of her strength as an artist. By using time, space, herself and the visitor, through her performance, Marina moved numerous people.