She calls herself the "godmother of performance art." She has her own HBO special. She hangs out with the likes of Lady Gaga and Jeff Koons. And next month, you can see her in the flesh. Like, all the flesh.
Artist and filmmaker Matthu Placek will screen the world premiere of his latest 3D short film, A Portrait of Marina Abramović, during Basel in December. Filmed in just one-shot, the short runs about six minutes and depicts a very "nude and ghostly pale Abramović "inside her under-construction performance art center," according to Artinfo, whose reporter attended an early screening in New York City.
The film's focus centers on performance artist Marina Abramović, who, among other things, is known for her ability to make people cry -- there's even a Tumblr dedicated to it. We're talking about Abramović's memorable performance exhibit, "The Artist is Present," at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 2010, in which she appeared at the museum everyday for three months and sat at an empty table. Guests were encouraged to sit across Abramović and stare. Those who looked into Abramović's eyes for long enough soon felt the tears coming.
Benjamin Sutton promises Abramović's intense stare is back and captured well in the film; "Abramović's intense energy and piercing, tear duct-opening stare translate uncannily well to 3D," he writes in his Artinfo piece.
Part of the beauty of the film is that it depicts Abramović standing in the middle of an empty building in Hudson, New York that will eventually be converted into the Marina Abramović Institute, and viewers will be experiencing the film in a building that is undergoing a similar "rebirth." The "Jewel Box," where it'll be shown, is part of the Biscayne Boulevard campus that YoungArts bought from Bacardi just over a year ago. Today, it's an open and exposed space, and guests will have the chance to incorporate the space into their overall experience. During his preview screening in New York City, Placek explained how attendees will move through the building, starting at the staircase, around the interior, and into the screening area.
The soundtrack for the film is an ancient Greek song translated and sung by Serbian singer Svetlana Spajic, which is meant to evoke a sense of birth, maturity, decay, and rebirth.
The project was directed by Placek and part of Visionaire's new initiative, Visionaire Films, presented with the National YoungArts Foundation.
There's no word yet regarding if Abramović will be in attendance for the opening reception of the screening, but she will also be at Basel on Monday, December 2, for a separate event. She will be hosting a benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and her own Marina Abramović Institute for Art UNTITLED.
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The opening reception will be held Tuesday, December 3, from 7 p.m. until 12 a.m. at the Jewel Box (YoungArts Campus, 2100 Biscayne Blvd.), and the official start of the screenings open to the public will begin December 4-7. During Art Basel, A Portrait of Marina Abramović will be screened every 15 minutes at the Jewel Box running from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. every night. Screenings are free.
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