It’s kind of hard to hide my giddy excitement over this one. The self-proclaimed grandmother of performance art Marina AbramoviÄ‡ returns to NYC from a month-long total purification process in India for her MoMA retrospective, opening March 14th. The 62-year-old artist’s first retrospective exhibit at a major museum includes a chronological exhibition of 50 works spanning over four decades and all art mediums, “interpreter” reenactments of five past performances, and the world premier of The Artist Is Present (2010) — the longest solo performance of her career that will last over 700 hours.
The chronological exhibit will feature early Belgrade solo performances (1969-75), collaborations with Ulay, new solo work (1995-2005) including Balkan Baroque (1997), and recent New York work like Seven Easy Pieces (2005), and will include re-performances, allowing visitors to squeeze through a doorway between two nude performers in Contact (1980/2010) and more. This is the first time the pieces will be reenacted (in a museum setting; your amateur stunt on lastnightsparty didn’t count.) Peep the press release for more details.
On display: the 72 objects including an ax, scissors and a loaded gun that were placed in front of her for the 6-hour do-what-you-will-with-me Naples performance Rhythm O (1974) that left her naked, crowned with thorns, cut, and covered in water with a gun to her throat. But her premier live performance will be her hardest yet, she anticipates. AbramoviÄ‡ will sit silent and still at a small table and stare at whomever chooses to sit across for her. Every day as long as the museum is open. For three months. That’s 700 hours. Then she will go silently home each night to SoHo to eat and treadmill-off the muscle cramps.
The exhibit includes conversations, panels, and the artist’s recorded guided tour for the most intimate AbramoviÄ‡ experience you could have ever imagined. Try not to cry now.
“The Artist Is Present,” Marina AbramoviÄ‡, Mar 15 – May 31, MoMA
Images: Rhythm O (1974),Â Balkan Baroque (1997)