This article examines Marina Abramović's epic performance, The Artist is Present, staged within her eponymous retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. For the duration of the exhibition, Abramović sat in MoMA's atrium from the time the museum
opened until it closed. Across from her was a chair where anyone could sit and meet her eyes in a silent gaze. The text inquires into the affect of presence as it implicated not only the reciprocal gaze, but also haptic aesthetic engagement perceived as tangible forces, feelings, and relationships
of those who waited in line to participate in the piece.