Thursday, June 26, 2014

Performance Art & seeing Marina Abramović's 512 Hours

I've fairly recently become part of Quora - to be honest I'm not too sure how it happened and what it's exact
Take note.
purpose or differentiation from other Social Web activities is - it seems to be non business but not quite as trivial as facebook - it has some topics and questions that fit into some of the nichés I gravitate towards it has a tag-line ' Your Best Source for Knowledge' which appeals to my (sometimes) inflated ego.


With respect to Performance Art it supplies a number of threads on the subject and some responses explain how it provides income to it's practitioners.

I like the definition and history here by Dr. Virginia B. Spivey.


I think it Fair to say that the leading name in Performance Art today (and for quite a number of years) is Marina Abramović  Nick Pearson at OPEN Ealing had mentioned Marina at the Art course I attended last year so I knew she was probably important in the field and worthy of attention.

Yesterday afternoon I went to see Marina's almost infamous 512 hours at The Serpentine.

The 'seeing' of the art was surprisingly easy, I had anticipated long queues but in fact entered almost immediately and left my bits and pieces in a numbered locker (phone, watch bottle of water etcetera) - phones cameras and electronic paraphernalia were forbidden within the event.

Having unburdened myself I  then  proceeded into the main space where a number of people were milling around and others were sitting  the overall impression for me was slightly awkward, there were two adjoining rooms one where entrants were blindfolded and another with quite a few camp beds.

I was eventually accosted by Marina who spoke to me about  my T Shirt (a Discovery freebie and the second time recently that such a shirt worn by me has elicited an opening for talk ) she then  took me  to the camp bed room where she was assisted by an assistant who helped me to get comfortable under a light blanket with ear protectors (to cut background noise)  and suggested I should do nothing for as long as I wanted.

I noticed Marina appeared to have Nike trainers on - I thought what a  good advertisement for them - she's here for 512 hours pretty much on her feet all the time and has chosen Nike.


... back to the work - Already time had changed for me as I was without an accurate  indicator of it's passing, I did look at how people exited the space and new participants joined, it did appear that there were more women than men present (65% to 35% perhaps) and probably a similar split of under 30's (majority) to over 30's - I did recognise one other member of the Art group under whose auspices I was there but otherwise people unknown to me.

 I was able to relax on my camp bed and did enter a state similar to that which I had achieved when meditating in Yoga - I became focused and  more aware of the importance of listening to what people said to me and taking their messages on board..

Eventually I decided to leave the bed and the exhibition - I found it good  but challenging and certainly have an increased admiration for Marina Abramović still putting herself out there when I guess she could retire and put her Nike clad feet up.

The event had liberated me (and others I suspect) albeit briefly from the tyrannies of our age limited time and distanced communication.
The artist was present.

You can see Marina's Blog here.
and comments on the event are available here.

After seeing Marina  I took  a look at the Ed Atkins works in the Serpentine Sackler Gallery - Ed's work was mainly around video, not over excited by it but perhaps a little anti-climatic?



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