Marina Abramović fielding questions after the preview screening of Marina Abramović The Artist is Present at Soho Beach House. All photos on site for Art Observed by Caroline Claisse.
Marina Abramović was on site at Soho Beach House to present her new documentary Marina Abramović The Artist is Present, which was recently confirmed to show at Sundance Film Festival, and will air on HBO next year. The showcase featured a looping 15-minute preview clip—made while the film was still in production—and between each screening was a Q & A session with the artist and her filmmakers Jeff Dupre and Matthew Akers. Moving from the second floor screening room, a cocktail reception at the 8th floor poolside bar followed. The after-party was attended by the artist herself, along with Dasha Zhukova, magazine editor Jefferson Hack, and Waris Ahluwalia, among others. Both the viewing and the party were sponsored by NOWNESS, an online publication on luxury lifestyle and entertainment. A slide show of fashion, travel, art, and gastronomy was projected by the pool.
Inside the documentary screening of Marina Abramović The Artist is Present (2011) at Soho Beach House’s 2nd floor
Abramović opened up about her personal processes through the Q & A, answering questions from the audience as well as from Twitter. When a viewer compared her to Maria Callas, she extolled that it was a huge compliment, and had read “all seven” Callas biographies. Abramović is interested in Maria Callas’ on-stage charisma in contrast to off-stage fragility, a dichotomy that Abramović identifies with in terms of her own performance. The new documentary chronicles Abramović’s goal of total motionlessness during her three-month performance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from March–May 2010, the namesake as well as the inspiration for the film. However, the art piece is not indicative of Abramović’s other personality traits, such as nervousness or sociability. As she explained to the audience, “People don’t understand that the hardest thing to do is to do nothing.”
Artist Marina Abramović spoke with filmmakers Jeff Dupre and Matthew Akers, who first met her at a dinner party.
Matthew Stone at the turntables
NOWNESS projected clips from other short films by the poolside bar.
- A. Bregman