Marina Abramović Brings Back Her Iconic Performance Art Piece, The Artist Is Present, to Raise Money for Ukraine

For a cou­ple of months in 2010, Mari­na Abramović spent her days word­less­ly and motion­less­ly sit­ting at a table in the atri­um of the Muse­um of Mod­ern Art. Any vis­i­tor could sit in the chair oppo­site her, for as long as they liked. In response, Abramović said noth­ing and did almost noth­ing (even dur­ing vis­its from Lou Reed, Bjork, or her long-ago lover and col­lab­o­ra­tor, the late Ulay). The whole expe­ri­ence con­sti­tut­ed a piece of per­for­mance art, titled The Artist Is Present. As with many works of that form, to ask why Abramović did it is to miss the point. Noth­ing like it had been done before, and it thus promised to enter unchart­ed artis­tic, social, and emo­tion­al ter­ri­to­ry.

A dozen years lat­er, the artist will be present again, but this time with a high­ly spe­cif­ic motive in mind: to raise mon­ey for the besieged nation of Ukraine. “Abramović has part­nered with New York’s Sean Kel­ly Gallery and Art­sy to offer a per­for­mance art meet-and-greet… or at least meet-and-silent­ly-stare,” writes Hyper­al­ler­gic’s Sarah Rose Sharp.

“Through March 25, inter­est­ed par­ties can bid on one of two oppor­tu­ni­ties for a lim­it­ed restag­ing of Abramović’s epic per­for­mance The Artist Is Present.” These meet-and-silent­ly-stares “will be cap­tured by pho­tog­ra­ph­er Mar­co Anel­li, who doc­u­ment­ed almost all of the 1,500 par­tic­i­pants in the orig­i­nal per­for­mance.”

Pro­ceeds “will go to Direct Relief, which is work­ing with Ukraine’s Min­istry of Health to pro­vide urgent med­ical assis­tance as well as long-term aid to the many lives dev­as­tat­ed by the war.” Last month, when Rus­sia launched its inva­sion, Abramović released the video state­ment above. In it she explains hav­ing done some work in Ukraine last year, which afford­ed her an oppor­tu­ni­ty to get to know some of its peo­ple. “They’re proud, they’re strong, and they’re dig­ni­fied,” she says, and an attack on their coun­try “is an attack to all of us,” an “attack to human­i­ty.” If you feel the same way, have some mon­ey to spend, and missed out on the first The Artist Is Present — and if you think you can hold your own across from the for­mi­da­ble pres­ence glimpsed in the video — con­sid­er mak­ing a bid of your own.

via Hyper­al­ler­gic

Relat­ed con­tent:

In Touch­ing Video, Artist Mari­na Abramović & For­mer Lover Ulay Reunite After 22 Years Apart

Mari­na Abramović and Ulay’s Adven­tur­ous 1970s Per­for­mance Art Pieces

Mari­na Abramović’s Method for Over­com­ing Trau­ma: Go to a Park, Hug a Tree Tight, and Tell It Your Com­plaints for 15 Min­utes

Per­for­mance Artist Mari­na Abramović Describes Her “Real­ly Good Plan” to Lose Her Vir­gin­i­ty

Advice to Young Aspir­ing Artists from Pat­ti Smith, David Byrne & Mari­na Abramović

Sav­ing Ukrain­ian Cul­tur­al Her­itage Online: 1,000+ Librar­i­ans Dig­i­tal­ly Pre­serve Arti­facts of Ukrain­ian Civ­i­liza­tion Before Rus­sia Can Destroy Them

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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