I could really have an entirely separate blog about how I discover and get excited about things 900 years after everyone else does. This would of course be called Bekah Last One on the Boat Brunstetter, and would involve me getting all up in arms about how terrible Genocide in Darfur is, how great feather extensions are and how Pavement really is a great band. But the latest installement: The documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Not Present.
As if my time at Martha’s Vineyard could be any more idyllic: there’s also a film festival happening while I’m here, and last night, I got to see this INCREDIBLE film that I’d definitely heard about, but didn’t know much about. Marina is a Yugoslavian Performance Artist who’s been known for work with the human body, violence, contact, silence, immobility, etc. She also happens to be, in my opinion, the most beautiful woman in the world. Here she is at 63:
Marina worked tirelessly for years, lived in a van, fell in love with another artist, walked the great Wall of China, basically lived a whole life before 40 – when her relationship fell apart, and she managed to pick up, keep going, and practically reinvent herself. Years later, she gets her own exhibit at MoMA, nobigdeal. I remember when this was happening – I remember friends telling me about it – and I am KICKING myself for not going. Some 750,000 people attended the exhibit, and some sat waiting for hours, days, just to sit across from her.
For 3 months she sat in the this chair, 8 hours a day, as MoMA patrons, one by one, sat in front of her, motionless – some weeping, some smiling just staring. She has incredibly deep and simple gaze that seems to bring out years of suppressed sadness or joy or innocence in everyone. What I love about what she does is that it’s art sans any political agenda, really. She’s not really saying much other than – we’re all people, and we really ought to slow down and look at each other.