Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present

dir. Matthew Akers
USA 2012 / 106’
subtitles: Polish only

Marina Abramović is as close as one gets to superstardom in performance art. The daughter of Yugoslav partisans, Abramović has lived in New York for the past 20 years and has been subjecting herself to physical and psychological extremes in the name of art for twice that long. She has been described as fearless, radical and nonconformist – and none of those labels are used in vain, as audiences found out at the 7th NH during screenings of Babette Mangolte’s Seven Easy Pieces by Marina Abramović. Abramović unflinchingly redefines what contemporary art is and what it can become. The tool of her trade is her own body, which she insists on subjecting to various tests of endurance. Performance art was alternative 40 years ago and 20 years ago and it remains alternative today – says Abramović. The film aims to break the barriers between the closed world of art and the public at large. In a tellingly intimate scene, director Matthew Akers captures Abramović in preparation for a solo performance at New York’s MoMA museum – beyond Abramović the artist, is a charming, resilient, joyful woman whose boundaries between life and art escape easy definition.


Berlin IFF 2012 – Panorama Audience Award; Sundance IFF 2012 – Best Documentary

Matthew Akers

Matthew Akers has been producing and shooting feature documentaries and television series for the past 12 years. Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present is his first feature-length documentary film as director.


2012 Marina Abramović: artystka obecna / Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present (doc.)

Cast & Crew

director Matthew Akers
cinematography Matthew Akers
editing E. Donna Shepherd, Jim Hession
music Nathan Halpern
cast Marina Abramović, Ulay, Klaus Biesenbach, David Balliano, Chrissie Iles, Arthur Danto, David Blaine, James Franco
producer Jeff Dupre, Maro Chermayeff, Francesca von Habsburg
production Show Of Force, The Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Foundation
Polish distributor Stowarzyszenie Nowe Horyzonty
awards Berlin IFF 2012 – Panorama Audience Award; Sundance IFF 2012 – Best Documentary
language English
colouration colour