Marina Abramovic has a great head. Her eyes stare intently under strong brows, her mouth shows no emotion yet her lips are expressive with curves, and her hair and her body and her whole presence are at peace with themselves and the world. Her face and demeanor remind me of Georgia O’Keeffe. She is a very serious performance artist.
She creates works designed to make you uncomfortable. It is legitimate art, but when she throws her naked self at a pillar over and over again, and then walks back to repeat this gesture of futility, all I can think of is the physical damage she is doing to her body, which is her medium. I know it is her right to do that to herself, but I can’t help but feel sorry for the chronic masochism involved.
My sister and I visited the installations at MOMA last weekend, and chose not to walk through the narrow doorway where two nude and nubile young people were stationed, but many did not mind doing so.
I liked best the work on video and in photographs that showed her performances with her partner, Ulla. Below is their piece, “Rest Energy.”
There was tension between the two of them that took a little bit of the heat off the audience.
As it is, many people are participating in “The Artist is Present” by sitting across from her in a chair, and being photographed under magnificent lighting.