Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present

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Marina Abramović. _The House with the Ocean View._ Performed in 2002 for 12 days at Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. Three-channel video with props (color, sound). Duration variable. Photo: Attilio Maranzano. © 2010 Marina Abramović. Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Marina Abramović. The House with the Ocean View. 2002

(Yugoslav, born 1946) Three-channel video (color, sound), sink, bed, chair with mineral pillow, table, toilet, shower, seven pairs of trousers in seven colors, seven shirts in seven colors, six white towels, metal bucket, metronome, bar of natural soap, bottle of rose water, bottle of pure almond oil.
Duration variable
Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery

MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ: House With Ocean View was for me an experiment. When I came to New York, it was just after September 11, and I found New York so much changed. I found New York and people living here different, more emotional, more vulnerable, more spiritual.

The idea of the work was experiment. If I purify myself without eating for 12 days, any kind of food, just drinking pure water, and being in the present moment, here and now, in the three units on the wall, which represent my house, like bathroom, the living room and sleeping room, where the ladder coming down to the space are made from the knives, so you never can leave. That kind of rigorous way of living and purification would do something to change the environment and to change the attitude of people coming to see me. If they will just come and stay and forget about the time.

I have in this period people who came first just for a few minutes and then stay for three hours, four hours, and come next day to stay even longer, without really understanding what's happening. But there's something like I almost think that if you are in the present and you are purified that you can create kind of energy field, that you can change on atomic level of the space in a certain way with the public and feel and just be in the present time.