Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present

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Installation view of Marina Abramović’s performance _The Artist Is Present_ at The Museum of Modern Art, 2010. Photo by Scott Rudd. For her longest solo piece to date, Abramović will sit in silence at a table in the Museum’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium during public hours, passively inviting visitors to take the seat across from her for as long as they choose within the timeframe of the Museum’s hours of operation. Although she will not respond, participation by Museum visitors completes the piece and allows them to have a personal experience with the artist and the artwork. © 2010 Marina Abramović. Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Marina Abramović. The Artist is Present. 2009

(Yugoslav, born 1946) Performance
Performed continuously throughout this exhibition for a total of over 700 hours
Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery

MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ: In The Artist is Present, I perform every day for three months. The performance is really about presence. You have to be in the here and now, 100 percent.

GLENN LOWRY: Marina Abramović

MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ: I have the empty chair, so everybody from the audience can come on his free time and sit in the front of me, and engage in this kind of silence, experience of the here and now, the present moment.

So you can observe this as a kind of stage for experience. Or you can really enter that space and take active participation, which actually bring you much closer to the artist, and this presence, and to your own experience.

If you sit on this chair opposite of me, it's extremely important to actually find a very comfortable position and you don't move. Just sit motionless, and see what happen if we connect with our eyes. And I really think that it’s going to be something quite special to go into this unknown territory.

Because the energy coming from the audience I have to be transmitter and receiver in the same time; that energy just goes through me. And to be ready for the next visitor and the next one and the next one.