Sundance review: "Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present"
Published: January 26, 2012 12:36AM
Updated: January 26, 2012 12:36AM
Performance artist Marina Abramovic, whose life and work are chronicled in Matthew Akers' documentary "Marina Abramovic The Artist Is Present." (Photo by Matthew Akers | Sundance Institute)

“Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present”

U.S. Documentary

*** ½ (three and a half stars)

Even the deepest art skeptic will become a believer after watching this documentary, which profiles performance artist Marina Abramovic as she mounts a retrospective show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. How do you do a retrospective of performance art? By hiring “re-performers” to get naked and enact some of her greatest hits. But the centerpiece was her new work, which involved her sitting opposite individual members of the audience and just gazing into their eyes. The work sounds ridiculously simple, but as captured by director-cinematographer Matthew Akers, Abramovic's performance piece becomes a meditation on human connection and stillness.

-- Sean P. Means

“Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present” screens again: