With great anticipation, I went to see Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present at the weekend; the documentary didn’t let me down. The film itself is arguably more hagiography than critical analysis, but I loved to see how playful and charming Abramovic is in her own life. You wouldn’t necessarily imagine that the woman who literally yelled herself hoarse or who ran into walls, repeatedly, would be all that much fun to be around. This film shows how all appearances can be deceptive, and helps the audience to understand the true bravery and courage she exhibited as she put herself on show at her wonderful 2010 MOMA retrospective, The Artist is Present. I remember spending much time at this show and worrying about her increasingly waxy, unhealthy appearance as the months went by. As this film shows, she really was pushing herself to the limits of human endurance, and for that we should all be both humbled and grateful.
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