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The Artist is Present
Photograph: Flickr/C-Monster

Marina Abramović is re-staging her iconic 'The Artist is Present' to benefit Ukraine

You can bid on two different performances today.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

You can add Yugoslavian-born artist Marina Abramović to the list of Ukraine supporters who are actually doing something to help.

The 75-year-old performer has partnered with Artsy and the Sean Kelly Gallery in Chelsea to re-stage her iconic work "The Artist is Present," which took over the Museum of Modern Art in 2010 for three months, as a fundraiser that will benefit Direct Relief, a nonprofit working with Ukraine's Ministry of Health to provide those devastated by the war with short- and long-term assistance.

New Yorkers with a flair for performative art pieces will likely remember the original iteration of Abramovic's work, which, at the time, drew in over 1,500 participants—including Lou Reed, James Franco, Sharon Stone and Björk. 

During the decade-old performance, Abramović simply sat at a wooden table across from an empty chair in the middle of the museum, waiting as people took turns sitting across from her. She did this for eight hours a day in an effort to prove that, according to an official description, "stretching the length of a performance beyond expectations serves to alter our perception of time and foster a deeper engagement in the experience." In total, Abramović sat on her chair in complete silence for 716-and-a-half hours.

In the 2022 version of the performance, the artist is auctioning two encounters—one for a single person and another for two—that will be photographed by Marco Anelli, the same artist who shot the original participants of the show.

You have until noon today to bid on either lot right here. Fair warning: the current bid on either one is at $24,000.

If that kind of cash isn't something you're working with but you're still looking to help the Ukrainian cause, check out our list of ways to help Ukraine from NYC right now.

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