History

Marina is Marina

Marina Abramovic and performance art

Nothing is scarier than a white page; especially this white page as it is an attempt to comment on a subject that I am openly admitting that I know nothing about. However, I feel that my ignorance in the matter is just what is needed.

The alarm went off yesterday morning; I opened one eye and limped out of bed across the room to turn it off (I have a brace on my knee). First thing I saw in my inbox was an article from The Guardian about Marina Abramovic’s scheduled performance this summer in London’s Serpentine gallery. I thought to myself,  I can’t wait to go see it! But then I thought, why do I actually want to go see it?  Abramovic will be going beyond the object (not sure what that means) and she will literally be wondering around the gallery for 65 days. Visitors will be asked to leave their belongings at the entrance, including watches, jackets, bags, etc., and just go in and have an encounter with her.

So, again… why do I actually want to go to the performance?

Oh, of course – because she is Marina Abramovic, a rock star artist: a celebrity. It might sound lame and superficial, but that’s the way I feel. In 2010 I stood in line for about two and a half hours waiting to sit in front of her and stare when she did “The Artist is Present” performance at MoMa. By the time I actually sat down, I don’t think I lasted more than 6 minutes. I felt insecure, like she was looking inside of me. Powerful stuff.

 

“The Artist is Present” 2010, MoMa, NYC. Image credits at the bottom.

But getting back to the subject – I told you already, I don’t know anything about Performance Art. Do you? The overall gist of it is that it is live and it is not theater; it cannot be bought or traded; and the live actions that the artist does is the actual work of art. Basically it’s intangible art (not that art has to be tangible; does it?). I’m not interested in telling you the history of Performance Art because I’d rather that you savor this beautiful gift of innocence (or blissful ignorance?) on the subject so that you can make up your own mind as to why you would take part of this performance. Is it because of the celebrity artist or the actual ‘performance’ consisting of an encounter where you are ‘aware’ that you are coming across a certain someone – who happens to be famous? Is the fame factor a factor at all?

Historically and theoretically I understand and respect Performance Art but today, I see it more as a fashionable trend than anything else. Think about it – if it was a random, unknown person that you are going to go into a gallery to run into in silence, maybe exchange a glance or two, why would you go? The room itself won’t be different. There will be no music or change of temperature; just footsteps. But if I tell you that you will have an encounter with the great and iconic Marina Abramovic, one of the pioneers of Performance Art, the situation changes. Doesn’t it? There is something clearly there. The woman is 67 years old and this is what she’s done all of her life! So assuming that this is the good (I am no one to judge) let’s mention the bad.

Innovative performance art took place in the 1960s and 70s when Marina Abramovic herself and other artists such as Carolee Schneemann and Chris Burden were really delivering ‘it’ righteously. But now it seams like just about anything is performance art and just about anyone has something to say. Last April during Art Cologne, Swiss artist, Milo Moire decided to give birth literally to an artwork outdoors by the entrance of the fair, completely nude, as she squeezed eggs filled with paint out of her vagina… No comment. All I have to say is through the words of blogger Jonathan Jones who so poetically put it, “if you are wowed by it, you are either susceptible to pseudo-intellectual guff, or lying.” HA!

However… the question remains, will I go see Marina Abramovic’s performance this summer in London?

Hell yes.

Why?

Because Marina is Marina.

 

 

The Guardian article by Emma Brockes

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/may/12/marina-abramovic-ready-to-die-serpentine-gallery-512-hours

The PlopEgg Painting Performance by Milo Moire

 

The Bird in Space Art Travels

Travel changes lives & Art prolongs it.

Share The Bird, spread the love. 

 

Copyright Andrea Wild Botero

*Cover picture: Marina Abramovic Saves the World by Harper’s Bazaar 10/14/2013.

**Image in text: Taken from Lisson Gallery site, courtesy of Marina Abramovic and Sean Kelly Gallery, NYC.

10 comments on “Marina is Marina

  1. I’m so flattered! “Marina is marina” 💁 hahahah— Sent from Mailbox

    On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 10:13 AM, Andrea Wild Botero

  2. You are in a roll, lucky us. The performance of Milo Moire has its (theoretical) point; the execution is a bit perplexing. Following her idea, how will her artwork grow? What is not so nice is that she sells for 5 euros the uncensored video on her website…

    The correlation between the time that you waited to see Marina and the time you stood in front of her is a good and smart depiction of the strength that a performance can have. Lots of health for your knee –although if that’s the reason why you are actively writing, it’s good that you give it ample time to recover. Think about Puyol or Cristiano Ronaldo 😉

    • I don’t know mucho about Milo Moire.. I hadn’t heard of her until that performance, but after seeing it, it kind of shattered any interest I might have had in her. Honestly.
      Thank you for wishing me good health! I’m not sure if it’s THE reason why I’ve started writing again but there’s definitely not much else I can do ha ha so my time is being spent wisely at least!

  3. Erick De Jesus Valencia Merizalde

    ?BUENOS DIAS ANDREA

    NUNCA CREAS EN NADIE, SABES MUCHISIMO DEL TEMA Y TODO COMENTARIO QUE SE OIGA ES ENVIDIA COLOMBIANA.

    MIS RESPETOS Y PARA ADELANTE

    ERICK VALENCIA

    ________________________________ De: Andrea Wild Botero Enviado: jueves, 15 de mayo de 2014 9:13 Para: Erick De Jesus Valencia Merizalde Asunto: [New post] Marina is Marina

    andreawildbotero posted: “Nothing is scarier than a white page; especially this white page as it is an attempt to comment on a subject that I am openly admitting that I know nothing about. However, I feel that my ignorance in the matter is just what is needed. The alarm went of”

  4. The most interesting to me about Abramovic’s performance spanning a couple months is that she will go home at night and on weekends. It’s a day job.

    • That’s so true! See.. how does that not affect the performance? What if she’s hungover one day? What if she’d rather stay in bed? What is she has to fly somewhere for someone’s medical emergency…?

      But even the great Marina needs to be exploited.

      I agree with you 100%; it IS a day job. I’m not anti-Marina but she’s very anti-objects, anti-materials and yet she’s covered head to toe in Givenchy.

  5. A cat installation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUtn3pvWmpg (Hope your knee is better 🙂 )

  6. BUENOS DIAS ANDREA,

    NO ES FACIL ENTENDER EL PEFORMANCE, LO QUE SI ES CLARO ES QUE APARECIO EN LA HISTORIA DEL ARTE Y SE QUEDO, EL COLOMBIA LA BIACI (BIENAL INTERNACIONAL DE ARTE CONTEMPORANEO) HUBO MUCHISIMO PERFORMANCE, ES DIFICIL DE INTERPRETAR, DE ANALIZAR, DE COSTEAR, EN “ART BUSINESS”, ETC.

    LO QUE YO ME PLANTEO ES QUE EL ARTE VA A TENER QUE SER DIVIDIDO EN DIFERENTES BIENALES, LAS DE PERFORMANCE, LAS DE PINTURA, LAS DE INSTALACIONES, LAS DE ESCULTURA, ETC, PORQUE CADA UNA TIENEN SUS PROPIAS TENDENCIAS, PROPIAS CRITICAS, PROPIOS COSTOS, ETC.

    HUBO UN COMENTARIO MUY INTERESANTE EN NEW YORK CUANDO AL FRENTE DE ELLA SE SENTO EL EX-ESPOSO, BIEN INTERESANTE LA RESPUESTA EMOCIONAL DE AMBOS EN ESE MOMENTO

    PERO TU TIENES RAZON, MARINA ES MARINA

    UN SALUDO

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