About the artist
Performance artist Marilyn Arsem has been creating and performing live events for more than forty years, presenting her work in thirty countries around the globe. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, she also teaches performance art workshops internationally.
Arsem taught for 27 years at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, establishing an extensive program in visually based performance art. In 1975 Arsem founded an artist collaborative for experimentation in all media, now known as Mobius Artists Group. Mobius has presented work involving thousands of artists over its 40+ year history.
Many of her works are durational in nature, minimal in actions and materials, and have been created in response to specific sites, examining their history, use or politics. The work has ranged from large-scale installations incorporating performance to events for audiences of one person. She is interested in the unique properties of live performance – the possibility of direct interaction between performer and viewer, and the opportunity to activate all the senses, including smell, touch and taste.
In response to the festival theme of stories, Arsem will present performances for one person at a time, creating a table-top visual narrative of images using natural materials. These performances could be considered a manifestation of the energy exchange between her and the sitter, and so no two performances are alike. Entitled Innehalten (be still), this audience-of-one performance was first presented in 2003 at the Vogelfrei Festival in Darmstadt, Germany.
A book on Arsem’s work, Responding to Site: the performance work of Marilyn Arsem, co-edited by Jennie Klein and Natalie Loveless, was published in 2020 by Intellect Books of the UK.