The power of presence : Marina Abramović’s The Artist Is Present (2010) as an invitation to dwell in public feeling
Natalie Q. Godfrey
December 7, 2017
Department or Program
Heather Ashley Hayes
Neoliberalism privatizes social problems by severing the individual from the collective. This extends to human expressions of feeling. As a result, the neoliberal state captures potentially collective expressions of feeling as individual sentiments, dampening the possibility for collective political expression. This process is represented and sustained by what I term "the feelings industry." To better understand how the feelings industry functions and explore some features of a space where it might be resisted, I turn to a performance by artist Marina Abramović. I argue that Abramović’s The Artist is Present (2010) produces a space with vast potential for collective expression of affect; it serves as a constructed invitation to dwell in public feeling. Through the experience of collective presence, bodies within this space may resist neoliberal privatization of feeling.