Monday, March 22, 2010

also at the modern

moving or hokey, meaningful or pretentious...
all or none of these?

i had mixed reactions to the performance piece
(full disclosure: i have
mixed reactions
to performance art
in general.)
the artist is present
by marina abramovic
at the museum of modern art

the artist, present indeed, sits quietly
(kind of morosely truth be told)
at a small table
in the center of the enormous atrium
and the empty chair opposite her
is occupied by museum patrons
one after another
who determine how long they wish to sit.

while i was there everyone who participated
stayed for many many minutes.
to prove something?
(to themselves? abramaovic? the bystanders?
the cameras recording the event? about these more later)

the sessions were uniformly serene,
both participants seeming to be in a state of
profound catatonia.

does anyone laugh? smile? is it permitted?

at the close of each session
abramovic slowly bows her head
preparing for the next participant.

There's a sort of calendar on the wall
which looks like the marks one might make
to record the passage of time
on a prison wall - four strokes crossed by a fifth.
They indicate the time this piece
will be performed through may 31.

photographs are not permitted in the atrium
nor from the various viewpoints on the floors above -
inconspicuously positioned guards are there
to remind you.

so - prosaic or profound,
judge for yourself:
the cool thing is, you can tune in,
during museum hours,
to the live feed here


  1. Am definitely not a fan of performance art where the Artist him/her/itself is the main attraction or focus. Too self-indulgent and Self centered. Prefer to see performance art that spontaneously draws in unsuspecting viewers (and not in a mean way). So, did you sit there? Did you blink first?

  2. kinda weird.
    i like the idea of laughing, smiling, blowing a kiss.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...