Posted inArt

WTF Is Up With Marina Abramović: The Movie? A Review

Hyperallergic writers and siblings Brendan and Marisa Carroll recently went to see Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present, a documentary about the performance artist’s Museum of Modern Art retrospective. The museum retrospective included photos, videos and re-creations of Abramović’s performances from her 40-year career, but the documentary, directed by Matthew Akers, focuses almost solely on Abramović’s new piece for the exhibition, “Sitting With Marina.” In that work, the artist sat motionless in the same chair for seven hours a day, every day that the show was on, and museumgoers were invited to sit across from her, silently, one at a time. Brendan visited the exhibition back in 2010; Marisa did not. Below are their impressions of the film.

Posted inArt

A Taste of Occupy Wall Street Films

Since the raid on Occupy Wall Street’s home in Zuccotti Park, news on the Arts and Culture front of the movement has slowed down a bit. Yet one OWS art topic that has yet to receive much attention are the films created by protesters and affiliated artists that express and document the uprising of the %99. Video and film are possibly the most powerful medium to track developments of the movement, used as both a social media tool and immediate evidence of police brutality as well as an artistic outlet for statements on the myriad of issues surrounding OWS.

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Eye on the Lo-Fi: DIY Flicks

Like all things punk, DIY cinema is a bit rough around the edges. But, isn’t that what makes it so much fun? Kicking off in midsummer with the release of Céline Danhier’s Blank City, punk films have been having a bit of a revival — and, while we’re at it — a reinvigoration.

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Can You Name Three Women Artists?

Out of the 55 artists represented at the 2010 Whitney Biennial, 26 were women. While that’s still less than half, it’s certainly better than the days when only one or two members of the “fairer” sex fought to be included. Lynn Hershman Leeson’s new documentary !Women Art Revolution, now playing at IFC Center, compiles interviews spanning 40 years that document the tumultuous battle women artists fought for proper representation in the world of galleries and museums.

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An Elusive Photographer Caught on Film

You may have seen him on a bike somewhere in Manhattan, a flashing presence in a blue coat. Maybe he was at a gala or a fundraiser, if you happen to frequent those kinds of events. But where it’s easiest to find Bill Cunningham these days is in the pages of the New York Times, with his weekly fashion photo column On the Street picking up on the prevailing trends of that week in New York City dress. On the street, the 83-year old fashion photographer and aesthetic documentarian is tough to spot, much less pin down. It is Bill Cunningham’s own elusiveness that makes Richard Press’s new documentary Bill Cunningham New York so fascinating: the 92 minute movie is defined by its attempt to get to know a character and an artist whose work and life are completely inseparable.

Posted inOpinion

Video: A First-Hand Witness on Ai Weiwei

PBS documentary show Frontline features Alison Klayman’s work filming Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s tumultuous past two years. The journalist has followed Ai through art exhibitions and political scandals alike, interviewing the artist and his family as well as the Chinese artistic community in a powerful portrait of one of the world’s most striking artistic figures.