Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović is a performer, her art relies absolutely on the physical relationship between herself, her body and the audience. So, is it a fruitless endeavour to document her work through sculpture, video installation and performances, but without her- in a way in which she is not there to compel the audience to stay; they can interact to a degree of their choosing?

The Marina Abramović exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts assures us that she is, in fact, there. Through the force of presence that is rooted in her entire ‘body’ of work, the artist is propelled into the room to encounter every one of us.

Her voice echoes through the space; her face on every wall- in positive, negative, stone, water, and in spirit. At least one pair of eyes is certain to be on you. The sounds of footage overlap with one another and screens are reflected in picture frames, interlaced into an immense blanket of life. It is terrifying, it is hell, it is vital. The audience suffers their own version of endurance, Abramović as their knowledgeable guide.

The experience is different depending on what time or day one goes, for all is being played in real time. The House with the Ocean View lasts 12 days in the Royal Academy, just as it did in the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York. The array of faces from ‘the Artist is Present’ are ever changing, as are Abramovic’s. The exhibition transforms into its own portal. You can stare Marina in the face, a hundred times at once.

Mia Breuer

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