Reciprocating the Gaze of Others: The Artist Is Present by Marina Abramović

  • Silvia BattistaEmail author


This chapter looks at the participative performance piece The Artist is Present, realized by Marina Abramović in 2010 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA). It examines the devising tools employed by Abramović to set up the performance within the The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium of the MoMA, and the processes that transformed this location into a place of worship. The video-documentation of Tornado (2000–2010), realized by the Belgian artist, Francis Alÿs, is utilized to understand Abramović’s creative approach in delivering an emotionally charged combination of participation and distance, immediacy and detachment. In addition, the practice of reciprocal gazing is closely analysed as a technology that if sustained for a certain amount of time, can transform vision into fluid, performative images and, at the same time, offer an unspoken intimate experience of resonance between two human beings interacting in silence.


Reciprocal Gaze presencePresence spaceSpace selfThe Self eyesEyes 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Drama, Dance and Performance StudiesLiverpool Hope UniversityLiverpoolUK

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