Currently on view at Danziger gallery in Chelsea: “Portraits in the Presence of Marina Abramovic” by Marco Anelli.
The centerpiece of the landmark retrospective “The Artist is Present” was Abramovic herself, who sat silently in the museum’s atrium inviting visitors to take a seat across from her for as long as they chose. She sat every day for the run of the show—716 hours and 30 minutes— and faced over 1500 people, whose involvement completed the work. Anelli, present for the entire duration of the show, realized his photographic project taking a portrait of each participant and noting the time they spent in the chair. Just as Abramovic’s piece concerned duration, the photographs give the viewer a chance to experience the performance from Abramovic’s perspective. They reveal both dramatic and mundane moments, and speak to the humanity of such interactions, just as the performance itself did.
The resultant photographs are mesmerizing and intense, putting a face to the world of art lovers while capturing what they shared during their contact with the artist. Reminiscent of Walker Evans’s “Subway Series” and Harry Callahan’s “Women Lost in Thought” Anelli’s work speaks to photography’s capacity to explore the human experience from an unobserved viewpoint. While Anelli is not engaging the sitters or Abramovic directly, his meta-performance as gathered in “Portraits in the Presence of Marina Abramovic is a compelling testament to the cathartic power of the gaze and our connection to one another.”
The show will be up September 20 - October 27th. Read more here.