despite the physical and emotional discomfort of these encounters — and the draining nature of the work — all the performers interviewed said they were often exhilarated by their daily shifts (some of which are now as short as an hour 15 minutes, because of several"Performance for me, makes sense if it's live..."
fainting episodes). There are plenty of magical moments with strangers, including those who innocently touch bare skin, whisper “thank you” or do improvisational little dances that have the usually stoic performers cracking up.
Many of these artists have their own careers as dancers and choreographers, and they described the MoMA experience as making them feel simultaneously more vulnerable and more empowered. Asked how the museum setting differed from a stage show, Mr. Lai said it was far more fulfilling.
“You get immediate feedback,” he said. “You’re causing a definite reaction in the audience, different from the typical reaction you want in a regular stage performance. This is more about human nature.”
Thanks to Steve Evens for pointing out this set of photos from Abramovic on flicker. See the slideshow.
From the MoMA site, which has a fabulous interactive component.
These photographs document visitors to the exhibition Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present. Abramović is seated in the Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium for the duration of the exhibition, performing her new work The Artist Is Present for seven hours, five days a week, and ten hours on Fridays. Visitors are invited to sit silently with the artist for a duration of their choosing. Please select "Show info" to see the date and duration of each visitor’s participation. Photographs © 2010Marina Abramović