the artist is present

posted in: new york | 0

Addition:

  • A NY Times article about sitting with Marina
  • MoMA is posting portraits of those who sit across the artist on their Flickr feed, here:
  • MoMA’s current exhibit, Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present, created quite a stir recently–resulting in the museum having to revoke one man’s 30-year membership. I read the New Yorker’s backgrounder on Abramovic a couple of months ago and looked forward to seeing this exhibit (though it does seem a bit like idol worship/megalomania when the actual artist is present at a retrospective). Above is Marina Abramovic herself, sitting face-to-face with some random person in the audience, which she has agreed to do everyday for the duration of the exhibition at MoMA. The remaining exhibits comprise a performance retrospective covering over 40 years of Abramovic’s work, using live performers to recreate past pieces–pieces that often require performers to be nude. Hence the hubbub: naked people + the immense crowds usually at MoMA = rowdiness.

    Despite all the publicity, the exhibit is definitely worth a visit. To enter, you need to walk through a narrow hall flanked by two naked people facing each other. And it was really narrow: it’s not possible to pass through without brushing against *both* performers. The idea is to make the audience tense as they squeeze through the entrance, but also causing a sense of relief upon reaching the open space on the other side.

    As opposed to the entrance, I found the rest of the exhibit to be more tense for me: they consisted of videos or live performances of Abramovic’s other pieces that were more about self-flagellation than anything else. But I suppose that’s what makes the retrospective so good: whether you like it or not, it’s impossible to not have an emotional reaction.

    Exhibit ends May 31. On second thought, it is kinda cool that the Artist Is Present…

    Leave a Reply