Apollo Magazine

Now it’s Cate Blanchett’s turn to spoof Marina Abramović 

Cate Blanchett is to play an Abramović-like artist in the mockumentary series Documentary Now!

Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Cate Blanchett is set to delve into contemporary art in a new mockumentary that will see her playing a performance artist based on Marina Abramović. Entitled ‘Waiting for the Artist’, the episode of the American spoof series Documentary Now! will parody the prizewinning documentary The Artist is Present, which focused on Abramović as she prepared for her retrospective at MoMA in 2010.

From what we know so far, the plot will revolve around Blanchett’s character, Izabella Barta, making preparations for a similar retrospective. In its course, she reacquaints herself with an ‘art world provocateur’ named Dimo Van Omen (Fred Armisen) – presumably a nod to Abramovic’s reunion with her estranged lover, the artist Ulay, in the The Artist is Present.

Intriguing though the project sounds, it is far from the first time Abramović’s work has been lampooned. One widely shared Tumblr spoof, ‘The Marina Abramovic Retirement Fund of America’ (MARFA),  circulated satirical items about the artist, including a story about a forthcoming performance that would see her eating raw onions for a full 36 hours.

However, even this pales by comparison to artist Hannah Ballou’s project to recreate Abramović’s most famous projects using images of pugs. And then there was The Artist is Humbly Present, in which Lisa Levy lampooned The Artist is Present by sitting naked on a toilet for five hours a day – nothing short of an act of bare cheek.

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