Marilyn Arsem

Marilyn Arsem (Boston, USA) has created more than 200 live events since 1975, ranging from solo performances to large scale, site-specific works incorporating installation and performance.  Arsem has presented work in 30 countries at festivals, alternative spaces, galleries, museums, universities and conferences. Many of her works are durational in nature, minimal in actions and materials, and have been created in response to specific sites, engaging with its history, use, or politics.  Sites have included a former Cold War missile base in the United States, a 15th century Turkish bath in North Macedonia, an aluminum factory in Argentina, the grounds of an abandoned tuberculosis sanatorium in Poland, the site of the Spanish landing in the Philippines, and a deserted Russian mining outpost in the Arctic Circle. Arsem established one of the most extensive programs internationally in visually-based performance art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (SMFA), where she taught for 27 years. Since leaving SMFA in 2014, she has increased her teaching of performance workshops internationally. In 1975 she founded an interdisciplinary collaborative of artists, incorporating in 1980 as Mobius, Inc., a non-profit, tax-exempt, artist-run organization, with the mission to generate experimental art.  Over its 40+ year history, Mobius has presented the work of thousands of artists. A book on her work, Responding to Site: the performance work of Marilyn Arsem, edited by Jennie Klein and Natalie Loveless, was recently published by Intellect Books of the UK.

Photograph: Holding Time Titanic, 2012. Photographer: Jordan Hutchings


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