Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present Reviews

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½ August 17, 2017
Very bad documentary
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2015
A fascinating and surprisingly moving documentary that not only offers us an insight into the work of an artist of great charisma and magnetic presence but also shows a lot about the transforming power of Art and a challenging Art form that is not appreciated as it should be.
November 21, 2015
Appreciate it. Zen displayed through Art.....
½ October 22, 2015
Surprisingly moving. Marina is the canvas. One of the more powerful documentaries that I've seen of late.
½ July 22, 2015
The brisk editing, intimate photography and Abramovic's own seductive personality elevate the film and make it somewhat watchable for me, despite not understanding what all the fuss is about regarding her famous, bizarre performance art. Still, I found it impenetrable, bizarre and sometimes unintentionally hilarious, as ignorant as that might make me sound to the modern art crowd.
May 22, 2015
Marina Abramovi? isn't generally a name that rolls off your tongue when listing your favorite artists, but after viewing "The Artist Is Present", she may as well be the very first person that comes to mind. When classifying "artists", most point in the direction of Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein - we forget about performance artists, as most of us aren't pretentious enough to consider ourselves a part of the "art" world. Save for Portland hipsters and eclectic New Yorkers, most don't know who the hell Marina Abramovi? is or why she is so damn interesting. I had never heard of her until a few days ago, when she made national headlines accusing Jay-Z of failing to donate to the Marina Abramovi? foundation after co-starring in his "Picasso Baby" music video.
"The Artist Is Present" is a fascinating watch for both newcomers and Abramovi? admirers, giving us an inside look into the process of her 2010 exhibit of the same name while providing a background, or, an introduction, if you will, to her performing art past. Touching on her controversial "Rhythm" series of the 1970s and her artistic and personal relationship with Ulay, the documentary is as educational as it is emotionally satisfying. We can appreciate Abramovi?'s contributions to our culture just as much as we can connect with her as a vulnerable human being doing what they love.
Abramovi? has made a career out of using her body as means of artistic expression, testing her physical and intellectual limits on a regular basis. She has run into walls (for hours), cut, whipped and mentally disabled herself, exposed her naked body to the world - and yet, these are only a few characteristics of her long career (and vaguely detailed I might add). Abramovi?'s willingness to submit to inescapable pain for the sake of performing is startling. One might initially cast aside her experiments, considering them to be laughable, strange, perhaps even an excuse to commit self-harm. The documentary, though, adds a dimension unseen by most, making her projects all the more admirable.
"The Artist Is Present" has a plentiful number of interviews to add to our reverence, and goes just deep enough into Abramovi?'s past to give us a sort of idea as to why she does what she does. But the most enjoyable aspects of the documentary are not the clinical studies nor the final act, which focuses on the bewildering exhibit. Most gratifying is seeing Abramovi? behind the scenes, living as a normal woman, with a sense of humor, to boot, who just so happens to have a job most would never dream of. This is a hugely pleasurable documentary, yet I want more. I want to delve into Abramovi?'s unhappy childhood with more gusto, to get an even closer look into the mind-blowing years spent with Ulay. For now, though, this will have to do, and that isn't a bad thing.
April 12, 2015
The movie didn't change my feeling that a lot of performance art is basically BS, but it's interesting to see the process, to listen to the people who definitely don't think it's BS, and to see the audience reaction. Unfortunately that's about all we get; I would have liked to see how she ended up doing this particular form of art in the first place and how it became to be taken seriously.
½ April 7, 2015
Once a skeptic of performance art (still most of it), this film changed my mind. Have patience if you are not a fan of conceptual performance art.
½ October 29, 2014
Unbelievably moving documentary. I absolutely loathe performance art and the pretentiousness that comes with it. If fact, aside from movies and some abstract pieces, I am not all that interested in art. However, it is impossible not to like this film. Abramovic is hypnotic throughout and the film editors do a great job of cutting out virtually all of the annoyances that sometimes plague these types documentaries. I am a simple-minded person who enjoys beer, boxing and cars. I do not know my wines nor am I an avid NY Times reader. But, one thing I am sure of is that you will love this film. Just give it 15 minutes and you will be hooked.
Super Reviewer
½ July 2, 2014
As humans, we have a tendency to laugh at things we do not understand. Top of that list is performance art. So, it is a good thing that the documentary "Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present" has come along to make sense of it in general. The subject is Marina Abramovic, the so-called 'grandmother of performance art' as she is receiving a career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art where young artists after participating in a three day artists' boot camp at her home in the Hudson Valley recreate some of her pieces. As far as Ms. Abramovic goes, she sits still in a chair for hours, allowing herself to be a 'mirror' to those sitting across from her, including one possibly recognizable actor looking for tips. That same sense of reflection can be extended to Fox News commentators who seem to be in serious need of smelling salts when discussing the nudity in her work.

Throughout her career, Abramovic has used her body as a canvas which might possibly shock some. Otherwise, her work reminds me a little of the work of Pina Bausch in being about the relationship between the genders which unlike the cheorographer is more about moving as little as possible. Well, except for the epic piece she did that involved the Great Wall of China. Who knows what the Chinese authorities thought of that?
½ April 22, 2014
1 hour and 45 minutes devoted to Abramovic's unbearable pretentiousness.
February 16, 2014
The Artist is Present is a documentary that portrays the work of Marina Abramovic in an objective yet touching manner.
December 30, 2013
Omg I loved this movie but warning much nudity at beginning and throughout but amazing to find out about her life and how she creates her art.
December 30, 2013
a spiritual experience that cannot be explained, still occupies a great space of your heart!
December 19, 2013
Increíble, simplemente arte.
October 27, 2013
Art is weird, so are we
September 30, 2013
onde a arte termina e onde o ego começa?
September 2, 2013
Intriguing. If I learned anything of this film, is probably that sometimes, reducing human all human expression to one single action is probably one of the toughest ways to communicate, and in itself, a way of conveying art. For over three months, this is what Marina Abramovic did. She sat down in the MoMA, as her life work was presented to the public. And all she did, was look into peoples eyes in silence. The open window to her unconventional (and rather provoking) work has but only given me a lot more insight into the driving forces behind performers of all walks of life, and the complicated relationships they have with the public scrutiny.
July 13, 2013
Well-made if occasionally scatter-brained and precious, unfortunately it lost me in the final act when the movie really started to project a too-messianic spell onto Abramovic. But she's an interesting lady and hugely talented. So, there's that.
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