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film review

Marina Abramovic at home in New York City. HBO is about to release a documentary film about her performance art.Michael Falco

For three months, in the spring of 2010, 63-year-old Belgrade-born performance artist Marina Abramovic sat on a chair in New York's Museum of Modern Art's atrium, more than seven hours a day, while patrons lined up to sit opposite her for a few minutes of shared silence in her "charismatic space."

The exhibit, Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present, which director Matthew Akers (along with producer/co-director Jeff Dupre) chronicle in this HBO-produced documentary, also featured re-enactments of Abramovic's past work with its frequent nudity and confrontation. Abramovic is a sensationally attractive narcissist and the filmmakers are clearly smitten with her, but the film goes a long way to establish the intellectual seriousness and dedication involved in her ambitious series of art stunts.