April 30, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions, Tech
Marina Abramović: A Gallery of Portraits

If you happen to witness—or, for the intrepid, participate in—Marina Abramović‘s new work The Artist Is Present, you may notice a well-equipped photographer quietly documenting each daily performance. The artist has asked photographer Marco Anelli to take portraits of every visitor who participates in the piece. The results, as you can see below and on the exhibition website, are captivating.

Check back frequently, as the images are updated regularly. At this point there are over eight hundred portraits!


Don`t worry be happy

Looks like a cult to me, worshipping the queen of self absorbed decadence, and self important posturing. Art is about LOSING ones Self into the all, binding mind, body and soul with Humanity, Nature and God. This is strictly the physical emmantion of self. And so, entertainment on its lowest level, stripped of pretense in its incredible reverse pretension to art, purely Meism magnified to its nth degree.

And so of course, not Creative Art at all, which is about the highest common denominator, not the lowest of needy children. Really, dont drink the Kool Aid.

Save the Watts Towers, tear down the Ivories.
Find out how.

By the way, they all look incredibly unhappy. Which is what happens when you are self absorbed, and out of balance. Laugh damn it, and eat a burger, you will feel better, after some exercise, Very unhealthy lookng people. Those who wannabe of those who cant too thin or too rich

“The Artist is Present” is perhaps the most amazing collection of work by a living artist. (with the exception of the Louise Bourgeois retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in ’08) Reading articles online and looking at the streaming media does not do it justice. One must go and experience for oneself the shear brilliance of Marina Abramović. Luckily, here in America we can have our own opinions about what is art, and you, D.F. are entitled to yours.

I know one thing is certain, Ms. Abramović and the MoMA have taken “high art” and brought it to the masses (streaming live), smartly using technology (blogging) and thus enabling us to engage in a conversation about art. Because of the hype of this show (whether good/bad) a lot of folks who are not “normally” drawn to art, are checking out this show. Conversations about her performance are happening in the subway, walking down the block, waiting online at the bank…this is wonderful because this dialogue is so important and necessary.

I believe Ms. Abramović is the antithesis of “queen of self absorbed decadence” she is, in every essence of the word, “present”. She is physically/emotionally there for you to have an opportunity to not only experience art, but to actually BECOME art. Genius, pure genius…

I find the slideshow hypnotic. Some people appear to be participating over and over again. I have questions and appreciate that no explanation is offered.

Uh, i would have to say the Anselm Kiefer show in the 80s was easily the best by a living artist i have seen. Wish they would get the Diebenkorn Ocean Park series show going down in the OC. But he is as dead as the incredible Monet and Gauguin shows I saw, van gogh too. Though the Cezanne watercolor show at the same time as the middle VG show at the Met was extraordinary, My god the man could paint.

And this is NOT for the masses, we shun it as infantile. No one cares except a few art school types, The rest of us just laugh at her on Sex in the City. I think I will make a conceptual piece about the lovely Marina and her egoless persona, counting how many times she says “I” in these interviews. After all, what else could possible be as important as her?

art collegia delenda est
fine art colleges must be destroyed.

Hey Donald,

I am not a cult member but an artist who incorporates many processes into my art practice.
So sitting with Abramovic and going through the motions of having the experience was worth it. I made new friends in the process with people I may not ever met otherwise. I thought that having the visitor become a participant of performance was a wonderful breakthrough for Moma. I do feel as though that the pedistal I had to climb to actually have a chance to sit there yesterday was an unexpected surprise. But then again, I am not much of a cult follower.

Therapy will do that, and that is exactly what this is. Not art.

art collegia delenda est
fine art colleges must be destroyed.

On a more constructive note with respect to the blog, there have been many sincere comments and criticisms written by viewers and participants about their reflections and experiences surrounding Abramovic’s work in the media. In another portion of the blog, it seems that other commentary suggested that looking at photographs in the Cartier-Bresson show was more inspiring. Consider the fact that it took decades before photography was even considered to be an art form, yet artists were utilizing it as a tool for their art practice since the beginning. This site that captures head shots of each sitter with Abramovic is more of a contemporary measure of time in tandem to the work, with the intent of focusing of a specific exchange between artist as both subject and object with a viewer/participant with an objective to have a subjective experience directly with the artist. As any viewer who invests the time and effort to see an exhibit by an artist, that is the utmost compliment. Today this is gradually being replaced by visiting blogs and websites. In essence, artists are having to perform through language and engagement, some being more equipped than others to grasp. So the technological effort married with the sitting sessions are two extremes to the spectrum of intake and exchange that is our current phenomena. Thus, the Abramovic show sits quite well in the context of and in correlation with 20th century art with a 21st century entry.

The faces of ordinary people: how strangely compelling they are! We are used to seeing the faces of politicians, entertainers, criminals… but only rarely do they suggest any mystery to us. But these people, whoever they are, seem bundles of complexity, each one with his/her history, desires, assumptions, preferences.

Part of the strength of Abramovic’s performance is to make these faces (and the psychologies represented in them) a part of the work. Indeed, the work would remain incomplete without them. In some ways Abramovic’s body is merely a scenario into which everyday people can enter: in that way it’s radically democratic.

Thanks for that great comment, Alex O., and also, further back Carol Kelly – The weeks of the exhibit were a wonderful MoMA experience, particularly because the audiences became so engaged (or even if not…) – The portrait gallery is mesmerizing – and also: every time Marina A. opened her eyes to a new ‘visitor’ was an extraordinary moment to watch … Too bad this blog got a bit ‘high-jacked … but there are interesting comments on the flickr set (good ones, nasty ones … that seems to be the fate of the ‘net conversation’) and also on the facebook pages – All in all a great show! Thanks MoMA and all!

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