Endurance Art

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Refers to artworks generally performed over a long period of time that may test the physical or emotional stamina of the artist or audience. This approach to art making arguably derives from Body Art of the 1970s, when artists like Vito Acconci or Chris Burden took their body as both their artworks’ subject matter and primary medium. Perhaps most closely associated with this practice is Marina Abramović, who, since the 1970s, has created provocative, long-durational performances that have pushed the artist to her physical breaking point, often to the point of imperilment. For The Artist Is Present, her 2010 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, she sat silently at a table facing an empty chair that visitors were invited to occupy for the nearly three-month-long duration of the exhibition.

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