Marina Abramović (Yugoslav, b. 1946).
Strolling Audrey through Marina Abramović’s exhibition was quite the experience. You’d think getting my 2 year old familiar with feminist art would be highly appreciated by museum goers, but surprisingly my friend Stephie and I got moralistic looks as we slowly pushed the stroller between and around naked actors throughout the halls. The simple naturalness of their lack of clothes was in no way shocking to little Audrey who has never experienced the human form as sexuality, neuroses or power.
There is one piece where a man and woman are standing very close together, facing each other as the sentinels of a narrow entrance. You are welcome to cross between them, but if you do, you’ll have to brush against their naked bodies because of their closeness to each other(stroller not allowed). Marina must have given them precise instructions on how to behave. They are standing absolutely still and do not respond in any way to nervous smiles or eye contact. They gave no signal as to how to cross or whether or not it is appropriate.
As I approached them I found myself entering a very real and intimate space. The warmth of human contact alone has an inherent tenderness, and I felt as if I were a child passing between my aunt and uncle or some other family members. To enter this intimate space for a moment was unexpected in a museum and the event will stay with me.
Excellent article by Arthur Danto in the New York Times titled, “Sitting with Marina”