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Seven Easy Pieces by Marina Abramovic

by Babette Mangolte
USA 2007, 93′
Original Format: HD CAM
Presented at Lo Schermo dell’Arte 2008
SCREENPLAY: Marina Abramovic
PHOTOGRAPHY: Babette Mangolte
SOUND: Anthony Burr
EDITING: Babette Mangolte
PRODUCTION: Marina Abramovic, Sean Kelly Gallery
Seven Easy Pieces is a series of Marina Abramovic’s performances that took place in November 9-15, 2005 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Every day for seven hours long, the artist re-enacted an old performance. Five of these were from some of the ancestors of the Body Art – Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci, Valie Export, Gina Pane, and Joseph Beuys, the other two were her own Lips of Thomas e Entering the Other Side.Babette Mangolte describes this experience focusing on details that outline Abramovic’s fragility, versatility, and endurance. Thanks to its dry and straight style, the movie successfully translates the rigorous discipline, the rudeness, and the strength of Abramovic’s actions. By focusing on every single and painful detail of the pieces, the film systematically explores the performer’s body and increases the awareness of how participatory body art is. The art piece becomes a social act, the role of the public shifts from a passive spectatorship to an active participation.
Babette Mangolte is an experimental filmmaker, photographer, and writer, living in New York City. A complete retrospective of her work was organized for the Berlin and Munich Cinématheque in 2000. She has been working for years with famous artists and choreographers, such as Robert Morris and Trisha Brown, developing a personal reflection about the relationship between art, dance, cinema, and photography.
Selected Filmography
1975 What Maisie Knew 1976 (Now) (Maintenant entre parentheses) 1977 The Camera: Je (La Camera: I) 1978 Water Motor 1979 There? Where? 1980 The Cold Eye (My Darling be Careful) 1982 The Sky on Location 1991 Visible Cities 1993 Four Pieces by Morris 1995-99 Dismantle (an essay on photography) 2000 Homemade 2003 Les Modèles de Pickpocket 2004 Roof and Fire Piece.