Born in Yugoslavia, Marina Abramović is a pioneer in the world of performance art. Throughout a career that has spanned five decades, her body has been both her subject and her medium. In early works like Rhythm 10, her very first performance, Abramović played a Russian game in which one rhythmically jabs a knife in between splayed fingers. She recorded the process and repeated it exactly, even including instances where she cut herself. The experience led her to consider the performers’ consciousness, and that theme, along with bodily pain, physical limitations and intentions, and the relationship between artist and audience are formative elements in all her work. In 2010, she was the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York entitled “The Artist is Present.” A team of trained artists were enlisted to “play” Abramović in various past performance roles, while Abramović herself sat at a small table where visitors to the museum waited turns to sit across from her. Her life, and that exhibit in particular, were portrayed in the feature length documentary, “Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present” which made its premiere in January 2012 at the Sundance Film Festival. The Marina Abramović Institute was founded by Marina Abramović and will serve as her legacy and homage to time-based and immaterial art.