Cultural Studies Homepage

Subject - CSG / CSV (Cultural Studies)

Courses: Diploma of Graphic Design (CUV50311), Diploma of Visual Art (CUV50111)

VUIT Digital Arts

Teacher Name: Lisa Cianci - email:
Education Manager: Adam Hutterer - email:

Class Website -

Class 9 - Lecture Notes

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Flexible Delivery - Viewing: Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present

I have asked that you view this documentary which I have the video file for (you may copy it from MMSHARE or the lecturer's computer desktop). It is about 107 minutes long, and is a compelling documentary about a significant performance artist's most ambitious performance and retrospective at MoMA in New York: and the work, resources and logistics involved in staging this work. It also highlights the importance of Performance Art as a form of contemporary art and how the audience can become a powerful part of a creative work.

More information about Marina Abramović can be found at these links, although the documentary does give a good brief history of her work and reoccurring themes such as limits of endurance and what the body (mentally and physically) can endure using the medium of performance.


MoMA exhibition:

About Marina Abramovic:

The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic - video clip:s

Trailer for The Artist is Present:

I previously discussed the work of Joseph Beuys in relation to Conceptual Art & Fluxus. There is an interesting story about Beuys' estate and the litigious nature of rights holders of artworks, Abramović did perform a work created by Beuys in a series titled Seven Easy Pieces where she re-enacted five seminal performance works by her peers, dating from the 1960s and 70s, and two of her own, interpreting them as one would a musical score. She re-enacted Beuys' work "Explaining Pictures to a Dead Hare" and did so with the permission of Joseph Beuys' wife Eva Beuys. More information can be found here:


Questions to respond to on VU Collaborate

    1. Did you have a particular response to this film? Was it an emotional reaction? What did it make you think about?

    2. Consider the logistics of such a large scale exhibition - the performance itself and the performance retrospective. What impressed you the most about the staging of this at MoMA?

    3. How does this major "tour de force" performance work relate to the continuum of creative practice we have been exploring throughout the semester? Where does Abramović's work fit in relation to the work of others discussed in recent weeks?

    4. There was a bit of celebrity spotting in the audience of this event - mainly of high-profile actors. One could see why they would want to experience a performance like this. Would you agree that Performance Art can perhaps go further than other types of performance such as traditional theatre or film/television production in pushing boundaries and involving participants because there are less constraints?



Personal Manifesto

You should be working on your manifestos in your own time and in class.