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Marina Abramović's Video Diary.
June 19, 2014 3:57 AM   Subscribe

Marina Abramović's Video Diary. The artist Marina Abramović's latest show is a 512 hour long performance piece at the Serpentine Galleries in London, where across the opening hours of seventy-two days, she's inviting a maximum of a hundred and sixty people into an almost completely empty gallery space (the whole gallery space is empty in fact) and asking them to share that space with her and now and then following her whispered orders to stand in various places including facing a wall. For the duration she's also posting a nightly video diary at thespace.org and at the Serpentine's own website in which she describes the days events.
posted by feelinglistless (16 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Today is Thursday, the 19th of June.

I've entered into a vortex of new age blackness, shaped like a pyramid of grey auras, dependent on the insistent solar wind to continue it's endless journey...here, with a small group of strangers for whom blue is the source of energy and black is the color of FPP...initials, letters, meaningless of themselves, yet so exciting when arrange just so. These strangers come in waves, controlled by international time zones, sucked into the black/blueness by a need to commune, a need to communicate, a need to become with others so close yet so far away, tied together by the endless interweb and it's founder, The Gore.

It is exhausting, this constant communication, this wifi wilderness we inhabit is awash with conflicts, divisive thoughts, flameouts of hot red blackness.

It's uncertain if the strangers will continue to arrive, if the googleness will send them in this direction. I will wait, silently, staring into the camera that seems to be in front of me..wondering only this... Do I own enough black clothes to continue for the allotted amount of time, or... eventually, will color overcome me and force me to speak with inflection and joy... the fear has no constraints...
posted by HuronBob at 5:17 AM on June 19 [3 favorites]


Marina Abramović' is, and I don't mean this in a bad way, the David Blaine of art.
posted by inturnaround at 5:27 AM on June 19 [4 favorites]


Abramović's work just makes me feel stupid. I look at what she's done and I think, "That's dumb. How could people possibly be interested or moved by this? How is this art?" But then I see how much press and respect she gets from both the art world and the general population of the internet, and I wonder if there just must be something I'm not getting. So I feel stupid.

Art shouldn't make you feel stupid.
posted by starvingartist at 6:41 AM on June 19


Art shouldn't make you feel stupid.

I don't think you're necessarily stupid for not getting it; ignorant perhaps, but ignorant is nothing to be ashamed off because that can be changed. Her work does sound strange on paper, but depends on an emotional charge you can only get from being involved with her performances.
posted by MartinWisse at 7:00 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


*gets a frisson of ASMR*
posted by Drexen at 7:03 AM on June 19 [4 favorites]


It's OK to not like some styles or individual works of art. It doesn't necessarily mean you don't get it, or are ignorant. It just means it's not to your taste. Art is subjective and that should give us the freedom to not like something.
posted by rocket88 at 7:05 AM on June 19 [7 favorites]


MartinWisse: "I don't think you're necessarily stupid for not getting it; ignorant perhaps"

Those aren't the only options. You are not necessarily doing something wrong by not liking something someone else does. There are foods my wife likes which I do not. I am not stupid or ignorant for not liking them; she is not wrong for liking them. And there are foods which I like which my wife does not. Neither of us is in the wrong there, either. People have different tastes and that's ok.
posted by Bugbread at 7:08 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]


Sorry, shoulda previewed. What rocket88 said.
posted by Bugbread at 7:09 AM on June 19


My favorite bit of her performance art wasn't in a museum at all: It was this great NYTimes piece about Abramovic's home in the country and her Soho loft. It's accompanied by a slideshow of her homes. The best picture of them all is a picture of her guest bed in NYC:
In the city, any guests must abide by Ms. Abramovic's rules: "They can stay only three days, no more," she said. Pointing to an austere-looking vintage piece with a thin, hard platform, she added: "And they have to stay on this uncomfortable daybed."
It's every bit as inviting as a piece of plywood. No pillows, no blankets, no sheets. It would be impossible to sleep there.

I've never seen her performances, but I've spent many hours thinking about Abramovic's guests, about welcomeness and begrudgingness, about the times I've been welcomed but less than welcome, or the times I have been such an unwelcoming host myself.
posted by mochapickle at 7:18 AM on June 19 [7 favorites]


It's OK to not like some styles or individual works of art. It doesn't necessarily mean you don't get it, or are ignorant. It just means it's not to your taste.

Art - it's all just a matter of taste (or lack thereof).
posted by sour cream at 7:43 AM on June 19


mochapickle: "It's every bit as inviting as a piece of plywood. No pillows, no blankets, no sheets. It would be impossible to sleep there."

You'd be surprised. My dad likes sleeping sans sheets, pillows, or blankets on a hardwood floor, and while I prefer beds, I've slept comfortably a few times on just a thin rug on a hardwood floor.
posted by Bugbread at 7:52 AM on June 19


My point, Bugbread, is that the guest bed is not terribly what most people consider to be welcoming. And if guests aren't truly welcome, why pretend they are?
posted by mochapickle at 8:05 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]


I look at what she's done and I think, "That's dumb. How could people possibly be interested or moved by this? How is this art?"

Since it sounds like you're at least curious about it I'd really recommend watching the documentary about "The Artist is Present". I went into it as complete eye-rolling skeptic about her work and, to be honest, about performance art in general. I came out of it incredibly impressed and quite moved. So much so, in fact, that it's really changed my perception of a lot of art and art forms (not just live performance but also video installations, for example, and other things that I guess you would call "conceptual") that I had always found very difficult to relate to.

I'm going to this in London next week so I've tried not to read too much about it (and so I'm sinning by posting without reading TFA!), but I really can't wait.
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show at 8:23 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


I went into it as complete eye-rolling skeptic about her work and, to be honest, about performance art in general. I came out of it incredibly impressed and quite moved.

Ironically, my journey was the opposite. I loved her work and loved the idea of The Artist Is Present.
Then I saw the movie and wished I hadn't, and now everything she does induces eyerolls and sad shrugs.

Her works with Ulay remain untarnished in my mind, however.



Marina Abramović' is, and I don't mean this in a bad way, the David Blaine of art.

I agree, but I mean it in a bad way.
posted by Theta States at 10:36 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]


I'm definitely a performance art skeptic. So much of it is so terribly bad, and/or designed only to transgress and not to say anything (okay, transgression is saying something. Most of the time it's not saying anything worth listening to). Sturgeon's Law, I guess, and I suppose it's a truism that you cannot get to the good stuff without the bad stuff also being made--in any artform.

Abramović, however, seems to be seeking for truth in a really deep way, talking about human interaction (e.g. The Artist is Present), and I regret that I cannot attend this installation.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:37 AM on June 19


starvingartist: "So I feel stupid."

Get in the queue.
posted by chavenet at 2:22 PM on June 19


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