New York

Marina Abramovic

It takes two to tango, but not if you’re Marina Abramovic. Art rarely embodies so intense a solitude as hers can, yet even rarer than its inwardness is its intimate engagement with its viewer—or better, its witness. In “Spirit House,” an exhibition of projected videos all distinguished by concise, emotionally loaded, indelible imagery, it’s the one work that initially seems least consistent with the others that encapsulates Abramovic’s themes. A single bright beam creates a dramatic chevron of light through a darkened room; in and out of this light a seductively dressed woman dances the tango with an absent partner to the nostalgic strains of an old record. This is Insomnia (all works 1997), the only work in the exhibit in which there is theatrical movement, in which the artist’s body is enhanced by costume, and in which music cloaks her own sounds. It is also the only one not frontally

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