Posts tagged ‘Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present’
June 3, 2010  |  Marina Abramović
Marina Abramović: The Artist Speaks

Marina Abramović takes her final bow. Photograph © 2010 Marco Anelli

Last week, we asked our Facebook and Twitter fans to submit questions to ask Marina Abramović on the occasion of the end of her epic performance piece, The Artist Is Present, on Monday, May 31. We got an amazing response! Special thanks to our Facebook fans Tal Brog, Sean Capone, Nicolette Brink, and Linda Wachtel, and our Twitter followers samtlam, ArtInitiative, and scriptophobe, for the questions they submitted. On Tuesday morning, we were the first to interview the artist. Here are her answers: Read more

Visitor Viewpoint: MoMA’s Mystery Man

Those of you who have clicked through the visitor portraits in our Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present Flickr gallery, taken by Marco Anelli, probably noticed some familiar faces. Apart from a few celebrities in the mix (Sharon Stone, Rufus Wainwright, Isabella Rossellini, to name a few), there are a number of less famous faces that repeat day in and day out, almost as often as Marina herself. These Marina devotees have become micro-celebrities in their own right, at least around the Museum; the guards know them by name, and fellow visitors waiting their turn to sit with Marina regard them with an air of what may best be described as reverence.

Paco Blancas, a NYC-based make-up artist, is one such visitor. After seeing his portrait a number of times on Flickr, I found myself wondering, “Who is this mystery man? Why does he keep coming back? Why is he crying in so many of these photos?” I wanted to know his story. As luck would have it, last week I spotted him seated in the Marron Atrium, back for his fourteenth sitting with Marina. He shared a few words about his experiences with the piece and what compels him to keep coming back. Read more

May 4, 2010  |  Marina Abramović
Bodies in the Galleries: Thoughts from an Ex-Dancer on Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović and Ulay in Imponderabilia, 1977. © 2010 Marina Abramović. Courtesy Marina Abramović and Sean Kelly Gallery/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Friends and family keep asking me recently, “What do you think of the Marina Abramović show?” The exhibition has sparked a lot of conversation, especially one aspect of it—yes, the “naked people.”

Some viewers have been shocked by the bodies in our galleries, but I didn’t expect to be one of them. Beyond the occasional cartwheel, there hasn’t been much call at MoMA for my performing skills… but before I was a MoMA wordsmith, I was a modern dancer, performing for several years mostly with the Regina Nejman Dance Company.

Dancers become comfortable with the body to an unusual degree. There’s the co-ed quick costume-changing backstage, the impolite contact of dance partnering, not to mention you spend a lot of your life wearing spandex. And yet I discovered that Abramović’s reperformers—clothed and unclothed—ruffled my composure, too.

Imponderabilia (1977), the Abramović piece in which two nude performers flank a doorway, has gotten a lot of press. Brushing past the genitalia of strangers in a crowded, public place—could anything be more nightmarish for a New Yorker? Recently, playing hooky from my desk, I breathed in, to be thinner, and slipped between the man and woman performing that afternoon. Safely through, I realized my heart was pounding. Other visitors hurried through nonchalantly, pretending they were going that way anyway; the performers, standing with knees slightly bent, never broke their bubble of concentration. (A good trick for the endurance stander, to avoid wobbling or fainting: don’t lock your knees.) Read more

Visitor Viewpoint: Marina Abramović

Installation view of Marina Abramović’s performance The Artist Is Present at The Museum of Modern Art, 2010. Photo by Scott Rudd. For her longest solo piece to date, Abramović sits in silence at a table in the Museum’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium during public hours, passively inviting visitors to take the seat across from her for as long as they choose within the timeframe of the Museum’s hours of operation. Although she will not respond, participation by Museum visitors completes the piece and allows them to have a personal experience with the artist and the artwork. © 2010 Marina Abramović. Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

We asked a number of visitors to Marina Abramović’s performance retrospective, The Artist Is Present, to share their impressions with us. Visitor participation is central to this exhibition—Abramović’s own performance for the show asks visitors to come sit with her and essentially become a part of the performance piece, while the “reperformances” in the sixth-floor galleries turn viewers into spectators and confront them in a way art objects never could. We wanted to hear from visitors about their experiences with these works. Read more

March 24, 2010  |  Marina Abramović, Publications
Listening to Marina Abramović: Rhythm 10

When artist Marina Abramović and curator Klaus Biesenbach first met with the Publications team to discuss the catalogue that would accompany her exhibition at MoMA, Marina knew she wanted to create a book that offered a different kind of reading experience. Hoping to address the eternal challenge of capturing the complexity of live performance on the printed page, she proposed the addition of an audio component, which she felt would allow for a more personal, intimate, and experiential understanding of the work. What you hear in this video is a track from the resulting CD, which comes with the book. Read more

March 15, 2010  |  Marina Abramović, Tech
Live-Streaming Marina Abramović: Crazy or Brave?

“We want to live-stream a silent woman, sitting still in a chair all day for three months.”—Paraphrased from a meeting a few weeks ago, followed by the sound of my hand hitting my forehead.

Screenshot from performance by Marina Abramović, MoMA, March 9, 2010

Screenshot from performance by Marina Abramović, MoMA, March 9, 2010

Working in a department that interfaces with the Internet (home of zany fun like Is This Art? and my new favorite site Selleck Waterfall Sandwich), you get used to hearing a lot of unusual ideas getting presented as Things We Need To Be Doing Right Away. I guess I should be used to it by now, since MoMA is a museum that has in its collection an alleged can of poop. Read more