At Home He's a Tourist


Marina Abromovich shows I've seen over the years: (I feel I've seen a lot of them which makes me think she is a really well known and popular artist) I saw her do a performance in Soho once and it was very strange. It was sponsored by Illy and it featured Marina in a beautiful gown drinking fancy coffee and having fondue from an upside down corkscrew type fondue machine fountain. It was some kind of Illy corporate event with products and logos displayed prominently. Illy probably underwrote an exhibition or gave her a grant so she did a performance for them. A really drunk guy at the performance kept going up to her to reintroduce himself ( an old friend?) but Marina didn't even acknowledge him. She had amazing concentration on the performance because he kept reintroducing himself over and over. It was really compelling. I saw a show in the fifties somewhere of a video she did which documented a Balkan fertility dance. It was also very compelling. During a fierce rainstorm the women would run around in random wild circles lifting up their skirts and flashing their genitals. The men stood in a line with the flies of their trousers down and their penises sticking out the fly of their trousers. The rain was pouring. It was actually a made up ritual but it seemed like it could be real but it would have to be a strange country for that to be real. It was a great video. In Chelsea I saw the set of In a House with a View of the Beach performance. It looked like a minimal living quarters in rectangles kind of like the sets for The Life Aquatic, but with less details. I love that movie. Bill Murray and Willem Dafoe are the polar heros of my psyche. There were ladders leading up to the rectangles but they were made of huge sharp knives. She lived in the original set for two weeks. This set was a remake she made for the filming of an episode of Sex in the City. Speaking of Sex in the City, I also randomly saw her Recreation of Seedbed at the the Guggenheim, maybe it was during the Kandinsky show? Marina was under a platform masturbating. She came 15 times or so. The people sitting on the platform were stomping out the beat to the song We Will Rock You. It was really funny and it looked very different from the grainy black and white photographs taken in the seventies of Vito Acconci seedbedding in some cold, dirty ( no pun intended) Soho space. Castelli warehouse? Next I saw her show at MOMA. Harmon's class was doing an educational project at MOMA so the kids all got passes for the museum. It was vacation week and I thought we should use the pass because it can get pretty boring hanging around N.Y. for vacation week, so we try to do a lot of NYC staycation day trips. The main tourist spots are usually super crowded during vacation weeks so I wasn't sure if we should go. I ran into Austin at Goodbye Blue Monday and he had been to MOMA that day and he said it was crowded but not too crowded. So Harmon wanted to go so we went. It was a special vacation Tuesday so the museum was opened even though it is usually closed Tuesday. They had made that decision but that might not have been the original plan because Tuesday was the performance artist's rest day, so Marina and her fellow performers who were recreating her work around the museum weren't there performing. It's ironic that Marina would ever allow herself to take a day off from performing but her work is incredibly grueling and she always sticks to the original plan. Harmon was expecting to see the performance he'd seen a few weeks ago with his class where Marina and another performer stare at each other from across a table all day without looking away or blinking. He didn't care too much that they weren't there though, we looked at the Pollacks and Van Gogh's (school projects related) and he did his own performance dance in front of a projection of a theater curtain. That kid is a ham. I bought the Westcott book at Bookculture ( I'm a member). I looked at it too browse ( Abramovic is very trendy right now) and I loved Marina's zany personality (she should be in a reality television show, it would be a great show, entertaining, uplifting, and educational) and I loved Westcott's writing style. It's a slightly slowed down version of Collings' writing or Warhol's writing/diction style. I love that style. I try to model the writing in At Home He's a Tourist after that style. When Marina Abramovic Dies is a great book. I highly recommend it.