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Performance Art, I Just Don’t Get It

Marina Abromovic - Facebook

Art, like a lot of things, is subjective. Some people see a beautiful landscape, while others may only see colors splashed on to a canvas. But one thing I really don’t get is “performance art”.

The picture to the left is artist Marina Abromovic, at her exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 2010. I visited the exhibit, “The Artist is Present” during its Spring run. The picture is from the main “piece” where the artist herself sat at a table for 7 hours a day, 6 days a week in unmoving silence, while gallery visitors were invited to sit across from her for as long as they like. While some may say, “well clearly this is to show the dichotomy of the self within the societal constraints of daily interaction, while outside influences bombard the individual with sensory overload”. My reaction was, “I don’t get it”.

This is the same artist who, earlier in her career, performed a piece with her partner “Ulay” where they put their mouths together and breathed in each other’s exhaled breaths. They both ended up passing out.

Yes, this was considered to be “art”.

If you’re interested in seeing more about all of this, a documentary was made about the exhibit, which will be shown at The Sundance Film Festival (and most likely on cable eventually, it was produced by HBO Films). To celebrate, HBO hosted a “silent party” where attendees wore all white, noise cancelling headphones, and were instructed not to speak.

Maybe I’m just not highbrow enough to appreciate performance art, but again I have to repeat myself…

I don’t get it.

Have you ever come across any “art” that you just didn’t get? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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