Art, film June 15, 2012 By Sophie Mollart

In the final days of the show, people camped outside the gallery all night, determined to sit with Abramovic, in hope of experiencing this bizarre, unbroken intimacy. Akers describes his own experience of sitting with Marina as no less impactful. “As soon as I walked into the sphere, I felt like everything else in that space sealed off, and it was just me and her. There was this very shocking change of perspective between us. She became a different person and I really had this wonderful exchange with her, it was a silent exchange, but it was a just a beautiful moment. A lot of other weird visual things started occurring. At one point her face disappeared and then reappeared, as if my brain was playing tricks on me. I didn’t see or hear anyone else. It was a beautiful, beautiful thing.”

“Over the course of three months, it wasn’t just how powerful the performance in actuality became, I think it became more powerful and more charged in my own thinking. It really is a cerebral exercise on some level but it’s also a visceral thing. It just opened the floodgates for me, about all the possibilities and all the concepts of what that work became, and that’s what it became for us in the editing room. We thought, how do we figure out how to talk about these things? It’s so simple that it allows for you to talk about it endlessly – there’s so many layers to it, and I think that that’s ultimately the brilliance of the piece.”

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present opens this week at Film Forum.

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