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Is artistic authenticity blind?

 Two juicy accounts of the closing party for MOMA’s performance-art blockbuster, Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present: Artforum’s Diary covers the whole star-studded, designer-garbed affair, while Jezebel homes in on a remark by the show’s curator that raised the question of just how clearly Abramović could see the more than 1,500 people who came to sit […]

"Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present: at MoMA - New York. Photo by Marco Anelli. © 2010 Marina Abramović

 Two juicy accounts of the closing party for MOMA’s performance-art blockbuster, Marina Abramović: The Artist is PresentArtforum’s Diary covers the whole star-studded, designer-garbed affair, while Jezebel homes in on a remark by the show’s curator that raised the question of just how clearly Abramović could see the more than 1,500 people who came to sit opposite her in an epic performance piece also titled The Artist is Present. Luckily, the enterprising Jezebel blogger tracked down a friend of Abramović who clarified that the glasses the artist uses are reading glasses. Scandal averted! 

By the way, Marco Anelli‘s collected portraits of the artists’ partners-in-staring constitute a fantastic art project in themselves. MOMA.org presents them as an elegant slideshow; they’re also at the museum’s account on Flickr. Clicking through them on Flickr becomes as another kind of exercise in duration — not just because the collection, like the closing party, is star-studded (will Björk be the next sitter?); you also can’t help noting the minutes that each person held out under the all-consuming and, yes, focused stare of “the grandmother of performance art.”  

Eiko and Koma are two other venerated performers from the same generation as Abramović. Though they consider their work to be dance/theater/visual art rather than performance art, they will be undergoing their own exercise in duration, Naked, in the Walker’s Gallery 2 for the month of November.

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