One driving metaphor behind MoMA Learning—the museum’s digital hub for educational resources on modern and contemporary art—was that of a “tool box” or “kit”—an assemblage of parts that could be used, shared, and modified for a variety of learning environments and styles.
Posts in ‘Visitor Viewpoint’
When I received notice that MoMA would be reopening to the public and its employees on Wednesday, October 31, after being closed for two days due to Hurricane Sandy, I have to admit that I wondered if it was too soon.
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.
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.
We recently paid a visit to MoMA’s Bauhaus Lab as one of the free art-making workshops was concluding. There, we met two stragglers, Jeff and Sarah, who spoke to us as they continued tinkering with their creative constructions. Two young artists, they were exploring form, texture, color and improvisation in this workshop based on the practices of Paul Klee and Johannes Itten.
What brings you to this workshop today?
Jeff: Well, we’re actually artists. We’re part of a collective called Hit Factorie. There’s about twenty of us working collaboratively in Brooklyn. They [the Bauhaus artists] were masters of collaboration, and we wanted to learn from that. We’re really interested in these ideas of collectivism and immediacy.
Is this your first trip to MoMA?
I used to live in Forest Hills when I was young. I went to school at Pratt to study painting, so I used to come here all the time. I’ve been a member ever since I was a student. I live in Massachusetts now, but this is where I come the moment I get into NYC.
How often do you come down here?
We have a timeshare in NYC, so we come down pretty often. MoMA is my second skin. You can’t check in at the hotel until 4:00 p.m., so we always come here first. It’s like Thanksgiving, the holidays—it’s a homecoming. It’s a relative. Yet every time I come here it’s exciting because there’s always something new.
Has the Museum changed much since your first visit here?
There’s more to see and more to know—it was much smaller back then. The architecture too has really become part of the experience. It’s like a yin yang. There’s so much to look at. Yes, there’s the collection, but then you stop to look at the Museum itself. I was just sitting here staring at the windows and admiring the details—it’s just exquisite.
If you are interested in reproducing images from The Museum of Modern Art web site, please visit the Image Permissions page (www.moma.org/permissions). For additional information about using content from MoMA.org, please visit About this Site (www.moma.org/site).
© Copyright 2016 The Museum of Modern Art