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The Artist is Present
Even though as a member of one of the FIPRESCI Jury section on BELDOCS 2012 in Belgrade I (we) voted for the Best Film of Festival to be magnificent piece of 3D documentary The cave of forgotten dreams directed by Werner Herzog, I feel obligated to mention a wonderful Marina Abramović - The Artist is Present (Marina Abramović – Umetnik je prisutan). The most well represented film in US production shown on festival is without doubt Marina Abramović - The Artist is Present (Marina Abramović – Umetnik je prisutan) directed by Matthew Akers. The world premiere of the film was the Sundance Festival, and the European was festival in Berlin.
Marina is artist living in New York, originally from Montenegro. She began her career in the early 1970s, and is active for over three decades; recently she begun to describe herself as the grandmother of performance art. Abramović's work explores the relationship between performer and audience. She explores limits of the body and goes all the way, also including the capacity or possibilities of the mind. Abramović sought to re-evoke the energy coming from the extreme body pain. Abramović most well known comments upon performing experience: I was very angry because I understood there is a physical limit: when you lose consciousness, you can’t be present; you cannot…
The feature-length documentary film Marina Abramović - The Artist is Present (Marina Abramović – Umetnik je prisutan). describes the insight of Marina’s world, following her as she prepares for a major retrospective of her work, taking a significant place at MOMA - The Museum of Modern Art in New York. To be given a retrospective at one of the world's premiere a museum is, for any living artist, is the most important in life. For Marina, in this film, it is the chance to finally find answer for the big question: why is this art?
In film we see Marina in the finals of planning her exhibition. We see her flitting around the museum, consulting with curators, gallerists etc…seducing everyone. As longtime friend and MoMA curator Klaus Biesenbach puts it: "Marina is never not performing." At her 63, she has lost patience with being a fringe artist. What she wants is to be legitimated and she is thinking her legacy up to the MoMA show. After a hundred minutes of film - many questions become redundant, the ideas become clearer: and more intimate way that has been passed to the ideas were implemented. Another reason, however, is more important: this movie is well balanced work that manages to present a documentary giving birth other work of art a performance art, intended for a different, non-screen media - and manages to overcome a seemingly insuperable barrier. Seductive and fearless, Marina Abramović has been redefining art nearly forty years now. Using her own body as a vehicle, pushing herself beyond her physical and mental limits in the process––she creates performances that challenge, shock, and move. She is also skillfully presented as a glamorous art-world icon, for her art controversy, and a myth of her own making. Truly unique woman. Marina Abramović - The Artist is Present (Marina Abramović – Umetnik je prisutan) is a mesmerizing cinematic film that talks about the world of radical performance, and an intimate portrait of magnetic, endlessly intriguing and very seductive woman who draws no distinction between life and art.
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