Marina Abramović is one of the most compelling artists of our time. Seductive, fearless and outrageous, she has been redefining what art is for nearly forty years. Using her own body as a vehicle, pushing herself beyond her physical and mental limits, and at times risking her life in the process, Marina creates performances that challenge, shock and move us. Through her and with her, boundaries are crossed, consciousness expanded — and art as we know it is reborn.
The feature-length documentary film Marina Abramovic The Artist Is Present follows the artist as she prepares for what may be the most challenging performance of her life — a new piece that will be the highlight of a major retrospective of her work, taking place this spring at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
To be given a retrospective at one of the world’s premiere museums is, for any living artist, the most exhilarating sort of milestone. For Marina, it is far more — it is the chance to finally silence the question she has been hearing over and over again for four decades: “But why is this art?” At 63, she has lost patience with being branded “alternative.” That designation, she says, just gives people license to rip her off. What she wants now is for performance art to be legitimated. She is thinking of her legacy — and the MOMA show, as she well knows, can secure it once and for all. “It is,” she says simply, “the most important [show] of my life.””
View some of our favorite videos and interviews with Marina Abramovic after the jump.