Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Sitting for the artist: Loving Marina Abramovic

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

Michael Falco/michael falco The Globe and Mail

3 out of 4 stars

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present
Written by
Marina Abramovic
Directed by
Matthew Akers

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.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Film critic

Liam Lacey is a film critic for The Globe and Mail. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Please note that our commenting partner Civil Comments is closing down. As such we will be implementing a new commenting partner in the coming weeks. As of December 20th, 2017 we will be shutting down commenting on all article pages across our site while we do the maintenance and updates. We understand that commenting is important to our audience and hope to have a technical solution in place January 2018.

Discussion loading… ✨