Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Artist, still present.

"To be a performance artist," Marina Abramovic stated in a recent interview "you have to hate theatre. Theatre is fake...The knife is not real, the blood is not real and the emotions are not real. Peformance is just the opposite. The knife is real, the blood is real, and the emotions are real."

Marina who was born in Belgrade in 1946, experiments with what she calls 'true reality', and she is willing to do almost anything to test the limits of the human psche. In her more then forty years of performing she has subjected herself to extraordinary physical and psychological pain; inviting her public to probe and abuse her, sometimes self-mutilating and exposing her body to possible harm.

For her performance of The Artist is Present at the MOMA, Marina prepared her body for months to endure from mid March  through till May,  the 7 hours a day in which she sat motionless and silent on a wooden chair, illuminated by a circle of light. Members of the public were invited to sit opposite her as long as they maintained the same silent pose, and stared into her eyes.

Her performance broke all attendence records, and was not without controversy, especially when 'celebrities' like Sharon Stone and Isabella Rosselini were allowed to skip the queue.

"I gazed into the eyes of so many people who were carrying such pain inside that I could immediately see it and feel it."

 Many of the more then 850 000 people who attended her performance quickly became emotional, often describing the experience later in quasi-religious terms. For some it was an unforgettable moment of intimate human connection...

"I test the limits of myself in order to transform myself, but I also take the energy from the audience and transform it...A powerful performance will transform everyone in the room", Marina observes in an interview with Sean O Hagen of The Observer.

Already in her mid sixties, Marina continues to expand the perimeters of performance through The Marina Abramovic Foundation for Preservation of Performance art in Manhatten, because "performance art has to live and survive..."

xxx elle

Slip sliding away

I had my heart set on a pair of sliding barn doors for the cottage at Boulders. Well, ok, not quite set enough to have done the work to ensure that it happened.

So, sadly there are no charming antique doors installed on a roller anywhere to be seen...

Still, there is one opening into the kitchen that holds the promise of such an installation in the future.

Perhaps you too, are imagining one of these lovelies in your home.

Go here then, and ensure that it happens!

xxx elle

Everything is Waiting for You

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life,
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

David Whyte
from Everything is Waiting for You
Many Rivers Press

(With thanks to Mrs S)

xxx elle