In your eyes. Portraits in the presence of Marina Abramovic.

From March the 6th to May the 31st 2010, Marco Anelli documented Marina Abramovic’s performance “The Artist is Present”, on the occasion of the retrospective exhibition dedicated to her at the MoMA, New York.
Marina Abramovic sat for 75 days, 6 days a week, in the hall of the museum while, visitors were encouraged to sit silently across from the artist, for a duration of their choosing, looking her in the eyes. Surrounded by an intense white light, the artist and the visitor were not allowed to touch or talk to each other, their eyes being their only way to interact. However, the visitor could decide when to leave. Some would stop by only for a few minutes; others even for seven hours.

This is how 3,090 eyes happened to meet around a table, creating an instant, intense, deep and unexpected relationship. And it is precisely this brief and touching intensitiy sprung between the artist and the visitor that struck Marco Anelli who portrayed every sinlge participant in the artwok on a daily basis and for the whole duration of the performance (716 hours). This way, occasional visitors as well as celebrities (Lou Reed, Sharon Stone, Bjork, Patti Smith and Isabella Rossellini among others) alternate along Anelli’s touching portaits.

Every night, when the museum would close the doors, Marco Anelli edited the pictures taken during the day and posted them on the MoMA’s Flickr profile. This way, he created a parallel community that documented the photographic project daily on the web. The exhibition at Forma, Milan, is the world premiere of a vast selection of the 1,545 faces that made eye contact with the artist. When looking at this enormous chessboard of portraits we find ourselves in front of an actual encyclopaedia of emotions where Marina Abramovic – the binding force behind every shot – is present without ever being visible.

until 13 February 2001


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