2011 Inspiration: Marina Abramović

February 19th, 2011 § 2 comments

It was a complete fluke that on a Saturday morning I found myself squeezing through two naked people with my laptop in one hand and camera in the other.

It was exhilarating to be so unsure of myself and to challenge my concept of personal space in such a direct way. I brushed against the woman’s tit with the back of my arm and apologised. It must have been over in two seconds.

This is how I entered Marina Abramović’s The Artist is Present exhibition at the MOMA in May 2010. The naked people piece was called Imponderabilia and it should be noted that when it was originally performed it was the only entrance to the museum and the distance between the two people was greatly reduced, MOMA increased the width in the reenactment and provided an alternative entrance. I was getting personal-confrontation-lite.

It’s very easy to mock Abramović’s work. She harms herself in almost all of her pieces: she’s carved a pentacle into her stomach, laid naked on ice and passed out due to carbon dixoide. Her longest, most recent piece involved her sitting in a big open space and inviting members of the public to sit across from her. She did this every day for three months for seven to ten hours at a time. No drinking, eating or peeing.

But there’s a level of calmness in everything she does and I think that carries across to the viewer. Some of her work is quite confronting to watch, even if it’s grainy black and white footage, there’s an intensity.

Two of my favourite artists, Björk and Lady Gaga are avid fans. Björk sat for the latest piece and her picture is on flickr along with the majority of people that participated. There was an interesting social media bonding that occurred within the participants. They have Facebook groups, tumblrs and an avid fan made a book that he presented to Abramović. It’s interesting to see how this random selection of people have created a sub culture that revolves around her piece.

I love how Björk seems so human and intimate in this image.

I’ve been thinking of Marina alot since The Artist is Present. When I went to the exhibition, I knew nothing about her, still don’t, her autobiographical statements are very selective. But her boldness inspires me. More so, the way she continues to test her own boundaries. When I remember her exhibition, I want to do more with my life.

§ 2 Responses to 2011 Inspiration: Marina Abramović"

  • Beyonce says:

    The only regret I would have in leaving the other 49 states in our dust is we would no longer be able to fly the stars and strsiep. I honestly love that flag and what it USED TO stand for.Keep your powder dry

  • Gary says:

    Lucky you! I have been wanting to go to any exhibition of hers since I first read about her about 1 year ago. Thanks for the post, it reminds me that we can make a difference.

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