This feature-length documentary film follows the artist as she prepares for what may be the most important moment of her life: a major retrospective of her work 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?' Written by
This is a documentary about how long it took for Marina Abramovic to get famous. It's a long view of a life lived in art and for art and then suddenly, late in life, to discover that all those years spent in obscurity are finally paying off. That's interesting. But that's all the documentary is about. Why is her art worthy? What has been the arc of her life's work? How has it evolved? I might as well have watched a film about Kim Kardashian and the nature of fame. This is more an adulation of fame itself than an analysis of the power of art. Very disappointing. The frame for the film is the build up to her most famous work, The Artist is Present, at MOMA, where, individually, members of the public were allowed to sit in a chair opposite Ms. Abramovic and stare into her face. The impact of this experience seems to have been profound. Ms. Abramovic's face is magnificent, filled with pain, deep silence and supreme mystery. She did this every day for three months. The sheer fortitude that this must have taken is astounding. The amount of raw emotion that she must have absorbed is exhausting just to think about. To have heard her speak on camera about this experience would have been fascinating. But instead we get a facile look at the least interesting aspect of her life; the fact that she is now famous. I'm glad for her but it's a small, mundane detail of a life lived with far more complexity than this documentary affords her.
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