Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Watched a documentary last night on HBO about Marina Abramovic, a Serbian performance artist now in her sixties (and boy, did she look good for 64).
We saw her exhibit at MOMA in 2010. In it, she sits across from anyone who cares to take the chair. She sat there all day for three months, scarcely moving.
Much of her work, in fact all of it, make use of her body. Her body is her canvass. You might get the idea from the link above. The exhibit and Abramovic drove the other viewer in this house crazy because he saw it as narcissistic and self-indulgent, which it was. But I was a bit more tolerant because Abramovic was trying to engage the viewer more than any artist had before. She was available to them and many of the people who sat down across from her were in tears. It all comes down to the question what should art do, I think. What makes something art? Certainly it does not need to be pretty but what does it need to be?
At one point, she said her mother used to come into her room and night and wake her to say she was moving around too much in her bed. "Be still." I guess that was good preparation.
You probably won't come away from this loving the artist but I think you will find her interesting.
Does performance art work for you? Is it more performance than art?