Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present

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Marina Abramović and Ulay. _Rest Energy_. Performed in August 1980 for four minutes at ROSC’80, National Gallery of Ireland. Production image (black and white) for 16mm film transferred to video (color, sound). 47 min. © 2010 Marina Abramović. Courtesy Marina Abramović and Sean Kelly Gallery/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Marina Abramović and Ulay. Rest Energy. 1980

Marina Abramović (Yugoslav, born 1946) and Ulay (German, born 1943) 16mm film transferred to video (color, sound). 4:07 min. Courtesy Marina Abramović and Sean Kelly Gallery

Director, Glenn Lowry: In her earlier performance, Rhythm 0, Abramović surrendered complete control to her audience as she stood impassively, next to a table with objects that they could use on her as they desired. She revisited this vulnerable state in Rest Energy, a collaboration with her long time partner, Ulay.

Artist, Marina Abramović: Rhythm 0 and Rest Energy are two pieces, which for me was the most difficult in my entire life of performance artist, because in both pieces I was not in charge.

In Rest Energy we actually hold one arrow on the weight of our body and arrow is pointing my heart. We have two small, little microphones on our hearts where we can hear the sounds of the heart beating. As our performance is progressing heart beats become more and more intense and it's just four minutes and ten seconds, for me it was, I tell you it was forever. So, it was really a performance about complete and total trust.