When analysing Marina Abromovic’s – The Artist is Present I began to notice aspects that could be criticised, for instance, her intentions for the work itself. It could be said that her the purposes for her performance were to idealise herself, which in a way I would agree with. The fact that she practically exhibits herself can generate a debate about her previous attitude towards making art, because although she has always believed in using the body for creating art, this performance allows for various interpretations. However, from my own perspective I believe that she set the performance in the museum to correspond with her exhibition of her past work that was being exhibited alongside her performance. This way she was able to achieve her goal of leaving her legacy within the artistic world (although this ambition does juxtapose her former beliefs against fame and celebrity status). The Museum of Modern Art in New York is a world renowned exhibit, thus her exhibition was bound to be witnessed by hundreds of thousands of people and as it is New York, and nothing goes unnoticed – press were obviously bound to be all over that. Nonetheless, Abromovic’s performance was a total success in both its ambition to test the body and mind as well as her personal goal to achieve success.
The Artist is Present has broadened my thinking and has left me questioning what is art? From watching the documentary about Marina’s development of her performance as well the process of conducting the performance itself (for three months!), I was inspired to think beyond my initial ideas and thoughts about what is classified as art; be it paintings, collective items, collection of historical possessions and culturally related objects. Much of Abromovic’s work expands on the idea of the body as art and she quotes that “performance becomes life – and life becomes art” (Abromovic cited in Marinafilm). This way of thinking connects closely with my idea on twisting the idea that art goes to a museum to die. I thought that the performance portrayed the image of the artist being present as the art itself, thus the idea of expanding the classic interpretations of artwork was able to be broken through labouring her body in order to create performance art.
Taking inspiration from Marina’s way of thinking about life as art, it can be said that museums are a vast collection of art which represents the lives of many civilisations from the past through to the present. I like to think that all art was once contemporary, thus new art cannot be compared to classic art works especially when the artist conveys knowledge and understanding for their work – and viewers are able to interpret art through a personal response. When thinking about my general idea of basing my performance around changing the viewers/participants perspective on artworks, I will be taking inspiration from Abromovic’s creative and proactive individuality in order to help generate a performance which will potentially test the spectators senses and their way of thinking about the art they see.


Anelli, M. (2010). Marina Abromovic. [image] Available at: http://marinafilm.com/ [Accessed 16 Feb. 2015].

Marinafilm.com, (2015). Home | Marina – A Documentary Film about Marina Abramović. [online] Available at: http://marinafilm.com/ [Accessed 14 Feb. 2015].