MoMA PRESENTS THE FIRST U.S. LARGE-SCALE RETROSPECTIVE OF MARINA
ABRAMOVIĆ’S PERFORMANCE WORK
EXHIBITION: Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present
DATES: March 14–May 31, 2010
LOCATION: The Joan and Preston Robert Tisch Gallery, sixth floor, and The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, second floor
ORGANIZATION: Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art
NEW YORK, September 29, 2009— The Museum of Modern Art presents Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present, the first U.S. large-scale museum retrospective of the artist’s groundbreaking performance work, from March 14 to May 31, 2010. Internationally recognized as a pioneer and key figure in performance art, Marina Abramović (Serbian, b. 1946) uses her own body as subject, object, and medium, exploring the physical and mental limits of her being by creating pieces that require her to withstand pain, exhaustion, and discomfort in the quest for artistic, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual transformation. The exhibition traces Abramović’s prolific career with approximately 50 works spanning over four decades of early interventions and sound pieces, video works, installations, photography, solo performances, and collaborative performances. Also included are the world premiere of a new work to be performed by Abramović herself and ―reperformances‖ of influential historical pieces by performers selected especially for this exhibition. The live reperformances complement and amplify a chronological installation of the artist’s work that shows the different modes of representing, documenting, and exhibiting her ephemeral, time- and media-based works. Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art.
Abramović, best known for her durational works, has created a new work for this retrospective—The Artist Is Present (2010)—that she will perform daily throughout the run of the exhibition. 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 verbally, participation by Museum visitors completes the piece and allows them to have a personal experience with the artist and the artwork.
The historical exhibition in the Museum’s sixth-floor galleries will feature the first live reperformances of five landmark Abramović performance pieces, alongside video and photographic documentation of the original performances, incorporated within the chronological presentation of
the artist’s career. They are Imponderabilia (1977), in which a nude man and woman stand opposite each other in a doorway, so that visitors who wish to pass must move through the gap between the two, deciding to face him or her; Relation in Time (1977), in which two performers sit quietly, connected to each other by their long hair, which is tied together; Point of Contact (1980), in which two performers stand face to face with arms bent, maintaining contact only by nearly touching the tip of each other’s index finger; Nude with Skeleton (2002–05), in which a nude performer lies beneath a skeleton, animating it with the motions of his or her breathing; and Luminosity (1997), in which a nude female performer, suspended high upon a wall and immersed in a square of light, gives the appearance of floating before the wall. Imponderabilia, Relation in Time, and Point of Contact were originally created and performed by Abramović and the performance artist Ulay (German, b. 1943), her partner from 1977 to 1988. A group of approximately 35 performers chosen by Abramović will reperform these pieces continuously throughout public hours in the sixth floor galleries.
The exhibition is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley.
This book project and audio CD spans more than four decades of Abramović’s early interventions and sound pieces, video works, installations, photographs, and solo performances, as well as collaborative performances with Ulay. An audio recording by Abramović guides the reader through the publication, and essays by Klaus Biesenbach, Arthur C. Danto, Chrissie Iles, Nancy Spector, and Jovana Stokić examine the artist’s concepts of time, duration, performance, and reperformance. Hardcover with audio CD. 9.5 x 12 in.; 224 pp.; 375 ills. Available in February 2010. Price: $50. No. 80
Press Contact: Daniela Stigh, 212-708-9747 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For downloadable high-resolution images, register at www.moma.org/press.