Monday, July 09, 2012

Heal Roll Bravo

My plan for the day

The Horrors are back.
You appreciate receiving support from your friends and family. However, you don't like it when someone meddles in your business, especially if you are clear about your current goals. Your patience is on a short fuse today and your reaction to outside interferences may be swift. Be firm, but keep in mind that overreacting could further incite unwanted conflict. Take a deep breath and think twice before you respond.
Wish they would have had the stars line up a day ahead-  it could have saved me some grief yesterday when I went off at the mouth.  How unusual for me...
_________________________tiny little change of attitude line_________________________

Last week I challenged the SAQA list to discover something cutting edge, either from an art exhibit they visited or online if that wasn't possible.  I've had the week from hell, or at least purgatory, so my visiting was at a minimum, not to mention that the Palm Beach 'cutting edge' might mean more gigantic watercolor fruit.  I haven't seen much that excited this gene since Nick Cave's exhibit at the Norton a few years back.  Bought the book, THAT'S how much I loved that exhibit!  So, I've been searching for something I wanted to write about and finally came up with a worthy exhibit, 'Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present', her 2010 retrospective at the MOMA.

Abromovic is a Serbian born (Belgrade Yugoslavia, 1946) and New York based performance artist whose work explores the relationship between artist and audience, the extreme limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. Several of her early- and dangerous- performances are detailed on Wikipedia to give you context of her work

First, let me tell you I was going into this with perhaps too much distaste for performance art, but on of my constant mantras is that you learn more from art you hate than art you love.  Let's not say 'hate' here, it's so polarizing.  Let's leave it at strongly dislike.  And I did give a directive that you might not like what you see as 'cutting edge'.  Here is a trailer for her 2010 movie made from her MOMA performance:

For 10 weeks the artist sat silently at her retrospective allowing the public to sit across from her, a total sit-time of 736 hours.  Some visitors sat only a few minutes, some sat for hours in her self-described 'field of light':

The interesting thing is that, for the artist, this wasn't just a MOMA retrospective, it was far more:  It was the chance to finally silence the question she has been hearing throughout her 40 year career, "But why is this art?"  The Artist is Present represents an entirely new experience in the history of art according to curator Klaus Biesenbach:  "For most masterpieces people stand in front of it for 30 seconds.  Mona Lisa:  thirty seconds.  But people come and sit here all day."  If you're not familiar with Abramovic's work, there is a short bio of her here which lists some of her accomplishments.

Impressive.  She is fearless and committed and her performances push not only her own limits (which seem to be boundless) but also the viewers.  And there you have what I would call cutting-edge.  It doesn't mean that performance art is something to strive for in my opinion, but instead that this individual has done everything in her realm of power to make us understand why life itself is art.  It makes our little quilt obsessions pale, doesn't it?  My hat is off to her, but I'm keeping my clothes on.  

So, what have I taken away from this?  And what do I think you should take away from it too?  I think that my biggest impression is how she involves her audience rather than just 'shows us' her work.  Thirty seconds isn't much, and that's what I've been settling for-  I want more!
I am continually fascinated at the difficulty intelligent people have in distinguishing what is controversial from what is merely offensive. Nora Ephron 
_______________silly line of demarcation again______________ 

And a quick iPhone shot of the Sandhill Crane couple that have taken up residence here at my industrial park.  I see them every day now, and so do the dogs who try to crash through the car windows at them.  Oy.  


Susan said...

Thanks for this post. I've been following the SAQA group's interesting thread on "current trends" in contemporary art and have been very interested in those who took up the challenge to visit (in real life or on-line) and share what "cutting edge" means to them. Your selection is excellent, insightful, and very thought provoking. Like you, I want more than 30 seconds too! Like you ... I also adore Nick Cave's sound suits! Thanks again!

ginger henkel said...

The eye of the beholder?.... Or... The emperor's new clothes?

Mary Beth Frezon said...

I read a couple reviews about the Artist is Present sitting piece and it was just very intriguing and accepted. But there ya go. Cutting edge? always seen in the side view mirror as you drive on, right?