Marina Abramovic present-ing at the MoMA

Day 62 - portrait 22 - on tumblr


The artist is present: are you ? Saved discussion...

Marina Abramovic present-ing at the MoMA on May 20, 2010.


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Reposted 2015 from 5/27/2010 12:02 pending updates


A full length documentary has (April 2012) been released documenting the preparations and daily travails of that show. (more details at bottom of page). Currently (June 2012) playing at the Film Forum


I now wish I had been aware of her 2005 Guggenheim performances, beautifully narrated in Shinya Watanabe's blog See also this thoughtful write up



  • Plastic Tourist PRO 5y

    Carolina - I'm putting together an "archive" of first person accounts of/responses to sitting with Marina ( I'm trying to post a flickr portrait to go with each entry and I couldn't find one for you or the other woman whose article I posted. I believe she's a journalist as well so that may be why I can't find her either.
  • NYCandre PRO 5y

    Lisa / Carolina: just a thought .. I'm pretty sure Marco Anelli would have no problem releasing your copy of his shot, (without you signing a release) for your own purposes as long as you give him credit. So even tho you are not in the published MoMA gallery, you could very well get your headshot posted for your own purposes..

    Lisa: great initiative on your part .. even better if you do follow up a year later .. do keep us informed.

    I am happy to have this thread be used as a bulletin board of sorts, as it does get a consistent stream of visitors, is free ,.. and is apparently indexed quite thoroughly by the Google machine
  • Plastic Tourist PRO 5y

    Carolina - I found the other writer/sitter and have been told by a reliable source that those who sat during the press preview were indeed photographed but their photos were not posted on the flickr site. Mystery solved.
  • C-Monster PRO 5y

    cool. thanks for letting me know! it's probably for the best. i imagine i probably looked like a total dork. lol.
  • NYCandre PRO 5y

    Fellow flicker photographer Ynatis who shared insightful notes

    Day 22, Portrait 17 by MoMA The Museum of Modern Art

    Day 22, Portrait 17
    44 min.
    Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present
    Photo by Marco Anelli. © 2010 Marina Abramović

    "I stood in the line for 4 1/2 hrs and then sat for 44 minutes. The 4 1/2 hours somehow were not a burden and I did not feel any of the normal things you would expect standing in line that long. It felt kind of already in the act. It passed quickly actually.

    But the more amazing was the sitting. I was sure that by the time I wanted to leave -- 5 or at most 10 minutes past. I could not believe that it turned out to be 44 minutes. Time somehow disappeared.

    I do not attribute it to M.A.'s "magic". I think that prolonged looking into the eyes of another person does have an effect on your state of mind. You might try it with some one some day and see. I know that the second course in the Landmark Forum program includes people sitting in pairs for a while just looking each other in the eyes to various mind effects.

    My experience of 44 minutes is nothing compared to M.A.'s experience of 700 hours and 1,500 people. What she saw and felt and what this sitting did to and for her -- would be interesting to understand."
  • Mitch Campbell 5y

    Thank you for all of the detailed comments! I'm writing a paper on the aesthetics of proprioception for a cognitive psychology course and they have been extremely helpful!
  • NYCandre PRO 5y

    Isabelle Huppert Day 41 / 2

    Day 41, Portrait 2

    And sitters who cried


    Found later: the Boston Art News had one of the best intros to the MoMA piece ahead of its opening:
    " .. For the retrospective, Marina will perform an ambitious new work, aptly titled "The Artist is Present." All day, every day, from early March until the end of May, 2010, she will sit at a table in the museum's atrium, in what she describes as a "square of light." Members of the audience will be invited to join her, one at a time, at the opposite end of the table. There will no talking, no touching, no overt communication of any kind. Her objective is to achieve a luminous state of being and then transmit it -- to create what she calls "an energy dialogue" with the audience. "

    More celebrities notes
  • NYCandre PRO 4y

    An interesting find - Marina's personal visit withTerence Koh
  • Peyablo 4y

    Being present is an objective state of perception, not subjective.
    In order to be present, a man must have a great inner unity and a great control of oneself.
    Does anyone, in the whole performance, has any control over oneself?

    I didn't see.

    I don't want to be malicious, but this performance has more to do with psychiatry than a work of art and the ability to be present.

    And, one more thing...evaluate art by its consciousness, not by its subjectivity.
  • NYCandre PRO 4y

    @peyablo - indeed circles are circular and noone can really tell whether anyone was being present or not or faking it or faking not being present. Psychiatry is one other form of mind playing.
    Evaluate art by its consciousness - whose consciousness? would this "consciousness" exist independently of the art in question?

    All great questions you raised, thank you

  • NYCandre PRO 4y

    Added later, good article from the Guardian from the days of the performance
    Before queueing to sit opposite Abramović on the opening night of the performance, I checked out the retrospective. It's a cacophonous, mercifully unpious treatment of her often ultra-serious work. It opens with videos, photographs and objects relating to her first performances in the early 1970s. In these, the svelte and self-conscious young artist performed acts such as stabbing knives repeatedly in the gaps between her splayed fingers, often missing and stabbing her hand instead (Rhythm 10, 1973); lying down in the (empty) middle of a burning five-pointed star, symbolic not only of the occult but of communism in her native Yugoslavia (Rhythm 5, 1974); and, in 1976, brushing her hair with increasing violence while repeating the mantra: "Art must be beautiful, artist must be beautiful." Abramović, always obsessed with her physical appearance, was probably not being that ironic.

    Why did she do such things? I later came to think of them as the artist's revenge against the givenness of life. Growing up under dictator Jospi Broz Tito and the domestic regime of a militaristic mother, body art was a way for Abramović to create rules even more extreme than the ones she found herself subjected to. In that way she could demonstrate a different kind of freedom. Her performances were also irrepressible expressions of her natural theatrical bent, and her craving for attention and devotion. It's impossible to disentangle the narcissism from the public service in her work; the diva from the high priestess.

    At Moma, most of Abramović's work (which includes live performance pieces as well as documentation) is taken from her 1976–1988 collaboration in love and art with the German artist Ulay, here remade by a troupe of devoted young artists. A couple stare and point at each other without moving (a remake of 1977's Point of Contact), another motionless couple sit back-to-back with their hair braided together (Relation in Time, 1977), and another two stand and face each other naked in a doorway (Imponderabilia, 1977). You can pass between them, but Moma has neutered the confrontation of the original by placing the performers so far apart that you barely brush against them.


    Abramović's Imponderabilia at Moma. Photograph: Mary Altaffer/AP

    But there's a bigger problem than Moma's institutional prudishness: these re-performances cannot invoke the conditions – the audacity, trauma and charisma – of the original pieces. Abramović's work is inseparable from her and Ulay's history and magnetism. The pieces seen here seem to sap the originals of their unpredictability and strangeness.

    The Ulay phase of the retrospective includes photos of Nightsea Crossing, which is Abramović's inspiration for this three-month-long sitting. In the 1980s, she and Ulay sat opposite each other, locked in eye contact and without moving, for a total of 90 (non-consecutive) days in museums around the world. If, in the first part of her career, she was masochistically confronting herself, and in the middle part she was confronting Ulay; since 1988, she has been directly confronting the public, though with an emphasis on physical presence rather than pain. The House With Ocean View (2002) is another prototype of her new performance in the atrium: the artist lived for 12 days without eating or speaking on three raised platforms in a gallery; her only nourishment was sustained eye contact with members of the audience.

    So there is an irresistible force of historic logic behind what's going on in the atrium. And history revisited Abramović on the opening night, as a parade of fellow performance artists sat with her: Tehching Hsieh (the undisputed king of endurance, legendary for his one-year performances in the 1980s), the Austrian feminist (and friend of Marina's) Valie Export, and Joan Jonas, perhaps the only artist of Abramović's generation to continue with performance art after the 1970s.

    In between each of these sitters, Abramović looked down and closed her eyes, resetting her gaze and gathering energy. When she looked up again, sitting opposite her was none other than Ulay. A rapturous silence descended on the atrium. Abramović immediately dissolved into tears, and for the first few seconds had trouble meeting Ulay's calm gaze. She turned from superhero to little girl – smiling meekly; painfully vulnerable. When they did finally lock eyes, tears streaked down Abramović's cheeks; after a few minutes, she violated the conditions of her own performance and reached across the table to take his hands. It was a moving reconciliation scene – as Abramović, of course, was well aware.

    As a steady stream of people sat down opposite Abramović, it became clear that she was trying to engage with them all on a personal level, mirroring their posture and the varying intensity of their gaze. She was being anything but a mountain – and her frailty made an already difficult performance even more exhausting. But the apparent nightmare of the piece is an illusion: what could be better than three months of sustained eye contact with a public hungry for connection? What more fundamental human activity could there be?

    After 90 minutes of queueing on the opening night, it was finally my turn to sit opposite the artist. I was immediately stunned. Not by the strength of her gaze, but the weakness of it. She offered a Mona Lisa half-smile and started to cry, but somehow this served to strengthen my gaze; I had to be the mountain. After about 10 minutes, I started to relish our unspoken dialogue. Then, suddenly and involuntarily, my head dropped. It was as if Abramović had sent me a laser beam, and the moment was over.
  • NYCandre PRO 4y

  • Freedom Alliance Ventures FAV WORLDWIDE 3y

    This place should make your list of the top places to visit in the world to visit if you ask me
  • NYCandre PRO 3y

    A full length documentary has now (April 2012) been released documenting the preparations and daily travails of that show.


    Performance artist Marina Abramovic's unique four-decade career receives its mainstream platform in "The Artist is Present," an intelligent overview that makes a radical artist's work comprehensible to audiences with no previous awareness of her or her chosen path. Abramovic fans, among the art world's most rabid, will salivate at the chance to see their star up close, while skeptics of performance-art modes may have to reconsider their stance after watching this, set for a June theatrical release in Canada and HBO summer airings. Euro buyers are sure to line up.

    And the first review at

    " .. It documents a 3 month retrospective of her work that was at the New York MOMA and not only shows details of what it was like to live through those three months, with recreations of many of her historical performances and Marina sitting in front of audience members all day every day, but also shows the back story regarding the work involved in putting something like that together, as well as details about her personal life that are fascinating. Collaborations and interviews with former husband Ulay are particularly poignant. The reactions of some of the audience members at the museum are also quite strange and compelling"
  • NYCandre PRO 3y

    She is certainly managing her artistic career quite well - 2005's Guggenheim's Seven Easy Pieces (I wish I had been there, acknowledging her, looking at her naked crotch, looking back at her reportedly imperturbable stare, then asking if her machine gun was as real too - with live ammo or just for show ..) and then MoMa's 2010 "The Artist is Present" performance ( which in addition to the actual performance generated quite a side show there with the inevitable young women getting naked -to make some sort of statement- to the related arts events and the electronic webby side shows, including the MoMA gallery of 1556 participants on flickr, open to comments from all - including sarcastic haikus ) ... to now, after the MoMA performance this movie documenting the preparations and events surrounding it.

    One can't help but wonder if this re-enacting and repackaging of past performances doesn't in a way desensitize /negate the original intent of the pieces - much like what Susan Sontag (of whom Marina is a big fan) has said of photographs.

    What next, Marina Inc. or politics? ..she might be doing some good actually- considering her intelligence, humanity and strength. Having seen the ravages of totalitarianism in the Soviet era she probably is aware of and might address the rise of that similar movement in the western world . Although she is of course very close to the power elite - a bit like in the China of Mao et al, where top artists and the power elite mingled closely*. Sometimes it takes the luxury of a bourgeois or artist life to have enough free time to think and analyze objectively, then maybe do something about it.
    (*) The USA is a bit of a throwback to the 1800's with religiousity a third determinant factor in public attitudes and politics.

  • NYCandre PRO 3y

    The song he will sing, when she dies, “if all goes well,” she said, is “My Way.” Then she outlined the program for her farewell performance. It will take place simultaneously in three cities: Belgrade, Amsterdam, and New York. All the mourners will wear bright colors. And in each city there will be a coffin. “No one will know,” she said, “which has the real body.”

    Read more
  • NYCandre PRO 2y

    2012, 2013 rolling on

    “The life and death of Marina Abramovic” at the Park Avenue Armory

    New York, 20 February 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

    The Park Avenue Armory has recently unvailed its 2013 programme with its greatest highlight being that of Robert Wilson’s opera, titled “The life and death of Marina Abramovic”.

    The opera is an exceptional three-hour production featuring scenes from Marina Abramovic’s life, including her childhood in Serbia to her work as a performance artist. Starring Willem Dafoe, Antony Hegarty (from Antony & The Johnsons) and the artist herself, the show will now make its debut in the United States. The premiere took place in 2011 at the Manchester International Festival and has since then been travelling the world with sold-out appearances in Madrid, Basel, Antwerp, Amsterdam…

    Marina Abramovic plays herself as well as her mother Danica, who supervised historic monuments and purhcased artworks for public institutions during Communism in former Yugoslavia. She was famous for her discipline and lack of demonstrable affection, “I learned my self-discipline from [my mother] and I was always afraid of her.” said Marina Abramovic.

    The outstanding performance that has been gathering extraordinary artists was commented as follows by the Luminato artistic director, Jorn Weisbrodt: “one of those unique, mercurial projects whose grandeur and power cannot be planned but we always hope for . . . [It’s] four of the greatest artists of our time, artists who could not be more different, collaborating for the first time [to] create something that is greater than their sum.”
  • NYCandre PRO 2y

    More sitters notable or not, with some comments (Continued)

    Anya Liftig - who brought in her vision/ performance of the piece, appropriating Marina's piece in a way. Was she present as well?
    Day 17, Portrait 2

    TB (interviewer) What did you think about? Did you ever wonder what she thought about?

    AL I started off trying to tell Marina a story, about some very difficult things that happened to me as a child. I tried to communicate to her some things that I felt I had not addressed in a long time. I also tried to have a conversation with her about why she was an artist. I wanted her share with her how being an artist made me feel compelled to do some strange, strange things. I was asking her if she felt the same way. I wondered if she was communicating back. At certain times I thought that we were really in sync. Other times I didn’t. Other times I was totally hallucinating. She looked like a childhood friend I once had. Then she looked like a baby.

    TB Just to clarify: you were communicating silently.

    And in her own words later from
    .This is a brief summary of some of the things I was thinking about during that performance, titled The Anxiety of Influence, after Harold Bloom’s work of literary theory. A more extensive text is forthcoming.

    I went through so many transformations as I sat there. Initially, I wanted some rise out of her, some acknowledgement of my gesture. Then I wanted to confess, as if I had been a bad child. Then, I felt myself get so angry that I almost started to cry. Why was she so special and why was I so small and weak? The glory of the venue wore off rather quickly. At a certain point, I felt like we were locking horns. She leaned forward and so did I. I started aping her every little movement and I kept hearing myself say, “move over bacon, here comes sausage.” Then I would crack again. She’s so strong. I was intimidated. She is like a mountain. She is my hero. But I knew I could make it through the day. I was hallucinating all over the place. She looked like a baby to me at one point. I thought about how hard it is to let myself be loved, I wondered if she felt that way too. I asked her with my mind. I wondered what I wanted out of her, why approval from anyone was so important. I wondered if I really just wanted all of the people in the atrium to loathe me so I sat there and let them loathe me. I thought about my parents and that one day they will die and I will be devastated. I thought I was hallucinating the whole thing. I thought that performance art is a more wonderful experience than any drug ever. I wanted to pee really badly. I wanted a way in. I wanted my contacts to stop falling out of my eyes. Every time I thought about leaving the chair, I got pissed at myself. I got pissed at her. I got pissed at the museum. I just got pissed. And damn it felt GOOD.
  • NYCandre PRO 2y

    Paco Blancas deserves its own spot here

    Why do you keep coming back?

    I think Marina’s piece has a very strong magnetism. It’s hard to explain but it’s almost like you feel this force, it draws you in, like a magnet. Sitting with her is a transforming experience—it’s luminous, it’s uplifting, it has many layers, but it always comes back to being present, breathing, maintaining eye contact. It’s an amazing journey to be able to experience and participate in the piece.
    Also, I love meeting people in line. I’ve met a lot of people and have made a lot of new friends, many of them artists, but really all sorts of people. I keep in touch with them and we e-mail constantly to talk about our experiences. It’s like a little community of people who come to participate in the piece.
    I noticed in a number of the photographs recently published online that you’re crying in many of them, and I saw you cried today. What about the experience elicits that emotion from you?
    She almost acts as a catalyst. She presses the button that makes you feel all these emotions and feelings. I think through the concentration and the focus, plus the energy of the audience, it creates this movement within you. It’s very subtle the way it happens. Maybe it’s just an image that pops while I’m connected with Marina. Let’s say it’s an image of someone I love deeply, and then this creates the emotion, the tears just come out. Most of the time it’s tears of joy. You’re just being and thinking about somebody or something that’s important in your life. And then just acknowledging this person or situation and moving on into being present because yeah, the tears come, but I don’t want to cry for the entire sitting. I want to move on and continue to be with Marina, to be present.

    You seem to have developed a very deep connection with her work. Can you talk a little about why?
    Something I was very interested in is that she said she’s not interested in doing anything she’s not afraid of. I find it fascinating that she has to do something that she’s afraid of all the time, but she’s done it over all these years, and she gets over the fear, she goes over the fear. I don’t know how to explain, it’s almost like she flies over the fear, the danger, the risk… and I love that. It’s all about taking risks, and going beyond, and pushing the limits. I like these words that she said: “Who sets the limits?” I’m not saying it right, but it’s a very profound phrase because we think we can only go so far, but she’s teaching us that we can go beyond what we think we can do and I love that about her.
    It’s interesting how in a city like NYC where everyone’s always rushing about, people will stop and wait and kind of be displaced in time in this piece.
    I think that’s a really important aspect, now that you mention it. Because, yeah, we’re always like, “I have to do this, I have to do that.” But when I come here, I don’t make any plans because I know I’m going to be here and I don’t care what time it is. I just let go and forget about it. Sometimes we’ve been there for so many hours on line and you don’t even notice it, it’s like “Oh, how come it’s so late?” You don’t feel time anymore. Time stops, and there’s just this energy.
  • NYCandre PRO 1y

    Since the first comments do not show in the new flickr interface - I'm copying them here as an experiment - not reinserting photos tho... too much trouble

    Another experiment is using a sister account gallery

    Marina Abramovic present-ing at the MoMA

    NYCandreil y a 49 mois

    Now that the show is over*, it is clear that Marina Abramovic has achieved two most important objectives and certainly took a good first stab at a third one:

    1- she brought back to attention the history of performing artists, with the re-enacting of her past performances and exhibits

    2- she provided a brilliant new piece whose future success was not so evident at its beginning -as the lukewarm cautious reviews made clear. Much will be digested and pontified about in the coming days, but her adaptibility and evolving choice of format worked wonders.

    3- she brought up the possibility of creating a legacy for performance arts acts - as she mentions in her explanatory video on YouTube, although the artist will die the idea of his/her performance may survive him by re-enactments.

    4 - Final comment, added after the performance ended: this seems to be the first public (non religious/ spiritual) event to have had such a profound impact on a number of participants. It is an open question what the future implication will be for this event and its participants.

    (*) and made into a movie, released in 2012 see details at bottom

    The questioning will hardly cease: is it art? what is art? One thing maybe is settled, one has to be present in order to create OR appreciate art fully.

    And I was very gratified that my original questioning had been more than completely confirmed as I watched the last sitters.

    So many critics and commentators missed the point or maybe didn't think it would make catchy enough reading. Sort of too simple in a way, maybe not worth trying to talk about it. If you understand it you don't need to read about it again, if you don't, nothing in writing will help you understand it. In a post event interview Marina explains:

    ".. the piece “Artist is Present”…is about being in the present time. We always project into the future or reflect in the past but we are so little in the present. Really being in space and time in that moment, and understand just about life itself. And then sitting in the chair and look in my eyes. It is not me what you are looking at. I am a prop. I am like a trigger. I am like a mirror. You start reflecting on yourself, and then comes all this emotions."

    Another fact for sociologists to ponder, it seems that most, maybe 80% of her sitters were women.

    Well known photograph from her 1974 performance "Rythm 0" Nudity sells art sounds better than "sex sells cars".

    Marina Abramović, Rhythm 0
    (You need a flickr account, which is free, to see anything involving nudity to conform to flickr rules; and you have to change that account default settings to allow for non "safe" viewing.)

    These days, photography is not allowed anywhere near the performers. The cellphones and ipods were not paying attention, and neither were the security guards, apparently.

    Rethorically asking myself" how would Cartier-Bresson have gotten *his* shot? Well, of course first thing he 'd have done is he would have gotten a VIP pass;-)

    The Artist is Done Present-ing for Now

    I posted some comments on the May 23rd New York Times - the article by Pr Danto, I thought missed the point and was a lot of fluff. Not too unexpected from "intellectuals".

    " .. Danto, the author, seems to gloss over the main reason for Marina wanting to re-enact past performances, as she herself strongly says in the MoMA audio snippets of her Guggenheim exhibits: it is as a very strong protest against contemporary performance artists who have "borrowed" from the early innovator artists *without* understanding them, or giving them any credit, not to mention royalties. This is why she herself re-enacted past pieces of others, with the appropriate credits, permissions and royalty payments.
    ** added here after the performance has ended: Marina herself makes that point very strongly in her post event interview/ forum - I do feel slightly, humbly proud I was on the right track here **
    Without knowing for sure, I would also venture that politics (hey, yes back when there was a USSR USA cold war going on) and the internal politics of repression have a lot to do with her art. When most 'standard' artistic expressions were strongly censored, doing something out of the usual norms was one way to avoid censorship.
    As to the meaning of the performance "The Artist is Present", it certainly is as obvious as it is elusive to explain, let alone experience. All credits to Marina for finally getting to that point, and trying to make that point across. Talking with a few participants waiting in line I got the distinct feeling that her work is reaching something very worthwhile.
    I had intended to visit mostly Henri Cartier-Bresson's gallery, but found the atrium performance equally compelling. And it is not so separate from HCB's own philosophy and artistry - the "decisive moment' can only be noticed and acted upon when one is totally present (my wording, he said it differently).

    How would HCB have "taken the shot?" Well at least he inspired me to try - this photo also shows a little more of the setup the MoMA arranged for the artist.
    Marina Abramovic present-ing at the MoMA by NYCandre

    PS. The techie in me could not resist bemoaning the fact that there weren't more twenty first century gadgets besides the many cameras: infra red temperature recordings, heart rate, even EEG's of the participants in an adjoining room and for future analysis, with post session feedback interviews etc.
    It has been done, incidentally, when measuring the "happiest' man on

    Marina on Day 1
    Day 1, Marina Abramović par MoMA The Museum of Modern Art

    Photo Credit Marco Anelli
    For the sake of completeness, since I got interested, this is as good an explanation as one could find, straight from her own mouth courtesy of the New York Times

    The gallery of sitters by MoMA photographer Marco Anelli

    A great account by performance artist Anya Liftig of her "intervention"

    The best article so far (by far over Danto's fluffy piece, but then he may have been in a hurry etc) I've seen is that of the Guardian

    Currently Sean Kelly's gallery has an exhibit of hers - will see it in the near future. Good to know galleries who do such great work

    Other superficial commentators

    And MoMA's own review

    NYCandreil y a 49 mois

    Feel free to comment below, however briefly, or indicate links - especially if you had a chance to sit with her ;-)

    My favorite photo of a sitter (65/21), she sat on May 23rd.
    Day 65, Portrait 21 par MoMA The Museum of Modern Art

    Photo Credit: Marco Anelli

    As MireyaInParis writes on a comment to that photo: " .. she was giddy, smiling, laughing just slightly, perhaps she was nervous to be sitting with the artist who is present, but she was respectful towards Marina Abramović. When they were gazing at each other I saw Marina smiling back, leaning towards young woman, as if inviting her to relax and just be. The young woman was full of many emotions, she could not stay still, like a child asking their mother, are we there yet?
    I enjoyed this particular piece because my heart was eased and relaxed and I sensed no anger, no battle, no rigidness, no pain, no emptiness, just plain excitement and joy. It made me feel happy and I was happy for both young woman and Marina"

    And from another witness, Evan Rose -see his comments below- : "I was there when that woman sat and when I saw her get up, Marina bowed and cried. That affected me so much I decided I had to sit myself" See Evan's comments below for a really odd happenstance.

    Interesting tidbit from one of the better reviews

    " ..Abramović is the subject of a forthcoming biographical play by Robert Wilson and the future mistress of a eponymous museum dedicated to the performance arts. On opening night, Ulay, whom she hadn't seen in years, sat down across from her as she performed The Artist is Present and she burst into tears. That she is vulnerable, even after a lifetime of trying to understand and harness her pain, is a stunning, but not unexpected development."

    In perspective

    Fun notes:
    MARCH 19, 2010, 12:15 P.M.
    I would like to propose that the state of waiting in line to participate in this piece be known as “marinating.”
    Posted by Julia Feldman

    Some of the more notable sitters:
    ( Using in particular photographer Joe Holmes' list)

    Day 18, Portrait 10 par MoMA The Museum of Modern Art

    Sharon Stone - Photo Credit: Marco Anelli

    Added 6/14/2010: An interesting factoid, I've learned that MoMA was opposed to Marco documenting the sitters, and Marina had to fight hard to have this happen . Great thing she did - and that the photos were published. Not all sitters have their photos online, but participants have confirmed that definitely men were a minority among sitters.

    Christiane Amanpour
    Bruce Bailey
    André Balazs
    Amir Baradaran
    Matthew Barney
    Devra Berkowitz
    Ísadóra Bjarkardóttir (Bjork's daughter)
    Anne Bogart
    Monika Bravo
    Paul Bright
    Tania Bruguera
    Jennifer Carpenter
    Ronald Chammah
    Rachel Chandler
    Kathryn Cornelius
    Eric Drysdale
    Michael Dudeck
    Valie Export (1/9)
    James Franco ..... (54/1)/
    Dara Friedman
    Anthony Gormley
    Aggie Gund
    Ann Hamilton . . . . . . . . . . . . (54/4)
    Antony Hegarty
    Tehching Hsieh . . . . . . . . . . (1/2) Performance artist
    Isabelle Huppert
    Joan Jonas
    Kim Katrall (61/1)
    Sean Kelly
    Terrence Koh
    Marie-Josée Kravis . . . . . . . . (68/1) President of MoMA, among other things
    Anya Liftig
    Glenn Lowry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (66/1) Director of MoMA
    Sarah Maple
    Irina Pantaeva
    Lou Reed
    Miranda Richardson
    Alan Rickman
    Isabella Rossellini
    Andres Serrano
    Sharon Stone (18/10)
    Julia Stoschek . . . . . . . . . . . . (1/1) Performance arts collector
    Hiroshi Sunairi
    Colm Tóibín
    Marisa Tomei
    Doboom Tulku . . . . . . . . . . . . (72/59) friend of Marina and Director of Tibet House
    Ulay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1/3) Marina's co-performance artist in the 70-80's
    Kate Valk

    (Do send any additional information you wish about the sitters via my flickr email )

    Jeffrey W. Bussmann (30/18) - his own comments:


    Clarissa Dalrymple (1/15)
    Michael Stipe
    Patti Smith
    Gustavo Dudamel (63/3)
    Riccardo Tisci (72/58)

    Many slept overnight outside MoMA to get their turn, especially the last days.

    Paco Blancas became a celebrity of sorts after the sittings, because of his repeat (21) visits, their length *and* intensity at times. He definitely evolved as his sittings progressed.
    Day 11 portrait 2 and Day 51/1:
    Day 5, Portrait 1

    “When you sit across from her, and look into her eyes, you feel the public but you don’t see them anymore,” he said. “It’s almost like you are alone with her in this big museum, which is like being a part of the art yourself.” His words from a March NY Times article covering the complete

    Her performers (67/3), (51/1), (67/1) didn't have to wait tho ;-)

    Lumosity's re performer artist Isabelle Lumpkin's notes about her performance:

    Ulay, third in line on opening day -after Julia Stoschek and fellow master performance artist Tehching Hsieh- she broke down and reached for his hands in a gesture of reconciliation

    Opening Reception for Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present par MoMA The Museum of Modern Art

    Photo by Scott Rudd - MoMA

    Last to sit on day 72 was Klaus Biesenbach, the MoMA curator in charge, after the Dalai Lama's New Dehli Tibet House director Doboom Tulku, long time friend of Marina.

    In the audience, one day, caught by various photographers, Lady Gaga (very striking costume) next to Klaus did not get VIP treatment - maybe to discourage too much theatrics.

    Also sighted the last day (thanks, KMBCG and the NY Times), Lauren Hutton, Liv Tyler, Orlando Bloom, Michael Stipe, the Tibetan lama Doboom Tulku

    The New York Times report on the closing moments

    Photo Credit: Marco Anelli

    From Tmagazine.blogs.nytimes (and you can hear some of the applause on YouTube )

    " .. It was no surprise that the audience present on Monday for the end of Marina Abramovic’s epic, 716-hour sit at the Museum of Modern Art gave her a tremendous ovation. The remarkable thing was the extent, and especially the sound, of it. The cheers lasted a good 15 minutes, filling the museum’s towering atrium with the sort of unbridled excitement that often greets (male) sports stars after a big win. Then again, when a woman of 63 has been sitting in the same chair almost daily for three long months, locking eyes with at least 1,545 individuals without moving or speaking, before 700,000 gawkers who came to watch, she deserves more than a pat on the back. A mental health exam might be in order, for instance. Or a long hot bath. But also a medal for heroism. .." (Linda Yablonsky for the NY Times - excerpt)

    NYCandreil y a 49 mois

    Dimitri Chrysanthopoulos aka themetree has been kindly recording and indexing screenshots from the live MoMA feed of sitters. His own record of the day:

    The Rules: "... the guard told me the rules. no talking or touching, and look directly into her eyes, dont avert your stare. and when you are ready to get up, bow your head and that will tell her you are ready to leave. wait till she bows her head then get up and come back to him..."

    Day 49, Portrait 19 par MoMA The Museum of Modern Art

    Photo Credit: Marco Anelli

    yup! heres my flickr portrait from the marina abramovic performance, and heres my thoughts of the day:

    may 5 2010
    ... I walked into Moma at 9:50ish and the line to buy tickets was already queing up for the 10:30 opening. At 10:20 they started charging guests the entrance fee.
    by 3:30-4ish we were all crashing hard. we just had gone through 2 people who each had sat up there for almost an hour each. it was mind numbing, and we all were just getting collectivly antsy. the ‘10-amers’ quickly dismissed the stragglers who came after 12 because we werent going to feel bad about them ...

    and now it was my turn to go. it was 4:20ish i quickly texted tumblr all the people i knew, to try and get a webcam shot of me up there for the site. the mother in front of me came back after 10-15 mins, and was a little teary, and said it was a great experiene. i now stood at the front of the line looking at the empty chair. the guard told me the rules. no talking or touching, and look directly into her eyes, dont avert your stare. and when you are ready to get up, bow your head and that will tell her you are ready to leave. wait till she bows her head then get up and come back to him. by this point, ... ... some kind of reciprocation back. there wasnt, and she became the mannequin she had been the whole day. and thats when i started thinking of the other people behind me waiting to go, i felt the pangs of hunger, and the fact that the cafe was closing soon. i felt i got something from her. whether or not what i felt was something true or not, im not sure. but it was worth the time.

    oh… and i need an haircut and i need to lose some weight… ugh… is that what i really look like! hehe!..

    NYCandreil y a 49 mois

    Nina Meledandri

    Day 49, Portrait 17 par MoMA The Museum of Modern Art

    Photo Credit: Marco Anelli

    She tried and got to sit many days at the MoMA, documenting each day. Her beautifully illustrated and most informative blog is there:

    " a flower every day (for marina abramovic)

    .. a multi-media response to Marina Abramovic’s Museum of Modern Art retrospective and performance piece: The Artist Is Present (March 14-May 31 2010).

    During the course of the exhibition, I will create 2 large watercolors (40” x 60”) made up of a flower drawn each day for the duration of Abramovic’s performance. This blog will document that process (with daily blog posts and slideshows of the progress) as well as my visits to the performance and documentation of a temporary installation of all flowers drawn. "

    a flower everyday

    In particular her page of selected links to articles, interviews is the best ever

    Some nuggets from a few places mentioned there

    From an interview with Laurie Anderson:
    " ... (Laurie) I always believe economic crises and performance are connected: The more economic crises, the more performance. It’s a reaction. LA: Every time I’ve seen a dip, art gets better, whether it’s painting or music or whatever. Everybody all of a sudden has to go, "I’m going to make this next one in my garage," and then .. "

    From the Brooklyn Rail "Outperforming Capitalism" . on how the original anti-commercialisation of the arts by perfromance artists has come around full circle ..

    Also from Isabelle Lumpkin blogging her re-enacting "Luminosity"
    "On being Marina Abramovic"

    Nina also caught what *could* have been a sensational moment.

    Photo credit Nina Meledandri (with permission)

    See the offline re-enactment on Nina's blog, nudity involved, parental guidance required.

    Roxanna planned to disrobe after being seated. How would you think Marina would have reacted? I am surprised -after the fact- no one had thought of that one before.
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