Since the beginning of her career, in Belgrade in the late 1960s, Marina Abramovic has been a pioneer of performance art, creating some of the most important works in the field. Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present
accompanies an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art that documents approximately 50 of the artist's ephemeral time- and media-based works from throughout her career. The book also discusses a unique element of the Museum's retrospective, live performance: a new work created for the occasion, and performed by Abramovic herself; and re-creations of the artist's works by other performers-the first such to be undertaken in a museum setting. The book spans over four decades of Abramovic's early interventions and sound pieces, video works, installations, photographs, solo performances and collaborative performances made with the Dutch artist Ulay (Uwe Laysiepen). Essays by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator of Media and performance art at MoMA, and four distinguished scholars examine Abramovic's ideas of time, duration and the reperformance of performance art as a way to extend it into posterity. The Artist Is Present
also includes a CD with audio commentary by the artist that guides the reader through the publication. The artist is present not only in the exhibition but also in the experience of the book.Born in Belgrade just after the end of the Second World War, Marina Abramovic
was raised in the Serbian Orthodox Church (her great uncle was a Patriarch and a canonized saint in the Church) and left Yugoslavia in 1976, having already established herself as a performance artist, living in Amsterdam and eventually New York, where she presently lives.