13 user 61 critic

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present (2012)

A documentary that follows the Serbian performance artist as she prepares for a retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.


, (co-director)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

6 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In search of personal healing and artistic inspiration, Marina Abramovic travels through Brazil experiencing sacred rituals and exploring limits between art, immateriality and consciousness. How far will she go to create her work of art?

Director: Marco Del Fiol
Stars: Marina Abramovic, João de Deus, Andy Grace
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary that chronicles artist and activist Ai Weiwei as he prepares for a series of exhibitions and gets into an increasing number of clashes with the Chinese government.

Director: Alison Klayman
Stars: Ai Weiwei, Dan Ai, Lao Ai
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A documentary on the German artist that includes glimpses at his studio, which has not been seen in decades.

Director: Corinna Belz
Stars: Gerhard Richter, Norbert Arns, Hubert Becker
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

About the performing body and how it affects viscerally the people who confronts it, looks at it and participates in the transcendental experience that is its primary affect. The ceremonial... See full summary »

Director: Babette Mangolte
Stars: Marina Abramovic
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A portrait of New York artist Keith Haring.

Director: Christina Clausen
Stars: Fab 5 Freddy, Jeffrey Deitch, Julia Gruen
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Herb and Dorothy Vogel redefine what it means to be an art collector.

Director: Megumi Sasaki
Stars: Paula Antebi, Will Barnet, Robert Barry
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Director Tamra Davis pays homage to her friend in this definitive documentary but also delves into Basquiat as an iconoclast. His dense, bebop-influenced neoexpressionist work emerged while... See full summary »

Director: Tamra Davis
Stars: Jean Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, Larry Gagosian
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames were America's most influential and important industrial designers. Admired for their creations and fascinating as individuals, they have ... See full summary »

Directors: Jason Cohn, Bill Jersey
Stars: Charles Eames, Ray Eames, James Franco


Credited cast:
Ulay ...
Klaus Biesenbach ...
David Balliano ...
Himself (as Davide Balliano)
Chrissie Iles ...
Arthur Danto ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Subway Photo Shoot
Brian Lane Moore ...
MOCA Performer
Marcus White ...


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

5 July 2012 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Marina Abramovic: A Artista Está Presente  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,041, 17 June 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$86,217, 7 October 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

See  »

Did You Know?


Marina Abramovic: Performance is all about state of mind.
See more »


Featured in Balkan Spirit (2013) See more »


By Zhurbin, Lev (as Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Marina Abramovic - The Artist Is Present
9 December 2014 | by See all my reviews

A 2012 documentary about the 2010 retrospective exhibition "THE ARTIST IS PRESENT" held at MoMA, New York, by the Serbia-born Marina Abramovic, the performance-art spearhead, has been active for over 40 years, she is the "grandmother of performance art".

For the new generation, Marina probably is well-known for her recent collaboration with Lady Gaga in her trendy ARTPOP album, so one may reckon this documentary could be an introductory piece to her wholesome work and artistic ethic, however, as the title implies, the film doesn't purport to be a comprehensive presentation of her lengthy career, instead, it mainly stays in the "present", extensively records her latest performance inside MoMA (with a group of young artists re-enact her most important work at the same time), where Marina dares to sit and stare with her audience face to face but in silence for many hours a day continuously for 3 months. It was a great success in any rate, but also accurately testifies how smart Marina is, as an astute artist, she knows what her art needs is the gaze and attention from audience, and it is so different from other media, performance art is an ongoing process, so she utilizes her towering stamina to grant each audience the possibility to be in the center of a crowd, to participate in her work and to ruminate in a trance of emotional undercurrents. In a three-months span, the film covers the sensational public images and the more laid-back private moments in Marina's life, through cautious eyes, one might find she is always performing, it is her lifestyle, her habitual mechanism towards the world at least whenever the camera aims at her, she minimally elucidates her beliefs and through ages, her radical angle has abated, what is left is the mystical allure of her presence, as she is sitting silently in front of you and gazing into your eyes but indeed, in most case, you don't mean a thing to her.

The most curious and emotionally relatable part is in the first half of the film, when we briefly get a chance to know about her background, especially her works with German artist Ulay, who she met in 1976, afterward they spent 12 years together as a collective being until they historically ended their relationship in 1988 after a spiritual journey in the Great Wall of China. Like Marina said in a speech, an artist should not fall in love with another artist, it does come from her own experiences, that's why their reunion is much more meaningful and intriguing in this sense. Ulay is also quite frank about this relationship, and gives Marina his blessing for her achievements, still through his interview, there are much more mixed emotions are engendered and mixed, but the truth only exists between those who are involved, no matter how curious we are, it is never what this film intends to demonstrate.

Directed by Matthew Akers, with snappy editing work and soothing score from Nathan Halpern, the film is a joyful ride for those who are really into art scenes and all the fanfares tailing along, occasionally thought-provoking, but essentially it is a bandwagon for Marina's artwork and reputation, if you want to know more about the person herself, you will find this film wanting and not spunky enough to soberly take stock of its subject matter.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Katee Sackhoff talks about her characters on "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Wars: Rebels," and "The Flash." Plus, "The IMDb Show" learns what it takes to wield a lightsaber.

Watch the show