First write-ups of the massive “Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present” retrospective/performance art exhibit are starting to filter in and, thanks to the AP, most are pivoting around an unfortunate 18-year-old visitor Morgan Wolfe, who was uncomfortable and “decided not to walk between two male [nude] performers.”
As part of the exhibit, several Abramović classics are reenacted, including the Imponderabilia, 1977 (that invited museum attendants to squeeze between the nude Abramović and former partner Ulay). Of 180 auditioned, a handful of alternating pairs were picked for Imponderabilia 1977/2010, updated with mix-and-match shifts of gender.
Surprise, suprise: Nudity is still shocking and, naturally, more so than 1970s Italy (original Imponderabilia performance site). All news sources are dribbling with nudity this, shock value that, sprinkled with remarks on the artist’s old “shocking” antics flagged as “masochist” and “exhibitionist.” Still, performance art making the news is good, fretful generalizations regardless.
At a talk at MoMA preceding all this, Abramović admitted that she didn’t know how long she or the tested few picked for reenactments would last. Maybe, she should have been more worried about the audience.
Shh… it’s ok. You don’t have to, if you don’t want to.