Marina Abramović concluded MoMA performance yesterday at 5pm after 700 hours of staring into the dewy eyes of 1,500 people, one insta-fan at a time. The few last show-hijackers went all out. One sitter pulled her breezy white sun dress right off across from a stoic Abramović, then got bum rushed by the guards. One audience member ran up to the ropes and attempted to projectile vomit into the atrium and partially succeeded.
Another visitor dropped rampant art criticism leaflets from one of the guarded bridges above the atrium. It was the day of the last doppelgänger and the last copycat. Paco Blancas, the weeping super fan, made his last visit. The atrium and 6th floor exhibit were filled over capacity, surely chaffing the nude Imponderabilia re-performers’ gentle bits in a doorway upstairs and making it impossible to squeeze through the people sardine-stuffed around the atrium stage. As the re-performers finished their last Abramitations, most burst into tears.
At the end, there was only one unguarded vantage point (3rd floor window, see photos) to see the much anticipated ending hoopla. The sitters were now limited to ten minutes until a guard tapped them out. Then, three minutes. Abramović wasn’t her usual relaxed-into-waking-coma, oily-from-anti-dehydrating-creams-faced stoic. She was all kinds of fun, smiling and mimicking her sitters.
After Abramović’s curator/ex Klaus Biesenbach sat hogging the last fifteen minutes of the performance and then smooched lovingly at her face, Abramović bowed onto the floor and the chairs were taken away. She became the giddy rock star, leading in a throng of her lab-coated re-performers, hugging and kissing them, then the guards and then the outer rim of the audience mob. Abramović and her gang pranced off the stage in a white-clad parade. From the escalators, it looked like they were skipping.
So, repeat investigative visits, celebrity nonsense, competitively emoting visitors, endless memes and media/blog-borg overexposure (sorry…) have dulled the experience, but in the end… Kudos, MoMA. Good times.
All photos by Marina Galperina except for the first three.