Skip to main content

Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present

Institution: 

The Museum of Modern Art

Designer: 

in-house

Category: 

Innovative | Experimental

Why

This performance retrospective traced the career of Marina Abramović with about fifty works spanning over four decades, including the first live re-performances of her works by other people, and a new controversial solo piece, in which she sat in the atrium of the museum for the entire duration of the show in front of one visitor at a time. Each participant was invited to sit in silence gazing at the artist, Abramović, for an unlimited period of time.  The exhibition website gathers in one place the rich content of  Abramovic's past work and information surrounding the current exhibition, including the portraits of the visitors who participated in the piece taken by photographer Marco Anelli (uploaded to Flickr and incorporated into the site), a series of interviews with the artist discussing her previous works and philosophy, and "behind the scenes" videos that provide context about the re-performances of her works by other performers.  

Audio pieces were available to enhance the educational experience, and blog posts of staff shed light on creative process behind the exhibition. An innovative feature was the live-streaming video for the duration of the show, which made possible the virtual participation of people who were not able to see the show in person, adding a layer of complexity to the performance. In this sense online interactive technologies served to transform the notion of “presence”.