Nostalgia for the present: Historical time in there contemporary performances | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 30 Number 169
  • ISSN: 1318-0509
  • E-ISSN: 2050-957X



The essay discusses how The Artist Is Present (2010) by Marina Abramović, The Show Must Go On (2001) by Jérome Bel and The Happiest Man (2000) by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov relate to the ‘nostalgia for the present’ of European and North American late capitalist societies of the spectacle. The works are firstly explored through the ways in which the artists “stage the present” by manipulating the presence and liveness of both themselves and their spectators, and secondly, how these “stagings of the present” consequently influence one’s perception of duration and the passage of time.


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