Winner 2012

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present

Show of Force Productions and HBO Documentary Films

At one point, while training young artists who will participate in the Museum of Modern Art retrospective exhibition of her work, Marina Abramovic defines the discipline in which she works. “An artist has to be a warrior, has to have this determination and has to have the stamina to conquer not just new territory, but also conquer himself – and his weaknesses.” For nearly 40 years, Abramovic has made art within these parameters. As a performance artist she has been determined to use her body as her medium. Moving, waiting, clothed and unclothed, watched, examined, touched, touching – all these and many other modes of interaction have defined her work. That work has led to her recognition as the “grandmother of performance art,” and for those who assumed that performance art ended sometime in the 1960s or ’70s, the 2010 MOMA exhibit finally documented here erased all doubts. In addition to “re-performances” of her earlier work by a group of young artists, Abramovic sat in a chair each day for seven-and-a-half hours for three months. “Audience” members sat one at a time opposite her and looked – into her eyes, into their own emotions, into art. For capturing an artist at work, a warrior engaged, a performer who has overcome her weaknesses, Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present receives a Peabody Award.


Executive Producer: Sheila Nevins (for HBO). Produced by: Jeff Dupre, Maro Chermayeff. Senior Producer: Nancy Abraham (for HBO). Director: Matthew Akers. Director of Photography: Matthew Akers. Editor: E. Donna Shepherd.