04 March 2013

Hey! Yeah You! Wanna Buy a Bridge? ~ Marina Abramović Has One to Sell You

This clip has popped up on You Tube and has made its way onto my FB news feed a couple of times lately. As I have said here several times before, I find Abramović unbearably self-indulgent and manipulative. I think this performance in particular was an invitation to total passivity on the part of those who 'sat' with her. Here is the caption that accompanies the various postings I've seen:
"Marina Abramović and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again. In 2010, Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’, a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing it and this is what happened."
Right. If you truly think that this magical appearance of Ulay the former lover was unscripted, I have a bridge to sell you. After all, this is a couple who transformed their break-up into a performance piece. And Abramović was, after all, filming the putatively spontaneous encounters for posterity.

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