On Saturday I finally got to attend the Tim Burton exhibit at MOMA that I recently wrote about and have been planning to see for quite some time now. It was really great and fascinating to see such a huge collection of his work. There was so much. Some highlights of the exhibit include bodiless heads from Sleepy Hollow, the Batman masks, and a sort of life-sized model of Edward Scissorhands, and tons and tons of really cool sketches. The only problem was that it was super crowded and we really couldn’t take the time to really appreciate the various pieces. It was still very cool, though.
While the Tim Burton exhibit was pretty neat and all that I’d hope for, it was in no way the highlight of my visit. Before our trip, my dad had sent us all a link to an article he came across about some performance art involving two naked people standing in a doorway that would be showing at MOMA while we were there. We obviously couldn’t leave without seeing this.
We found our way up to the 6th Floor, where the Marina Abramovic Exhibit was showing, and we not only saw the two naked people standing in a door way (who you have the opportunity to walk between), but a number of re-performances of her work – plus various videos and photographs spanning her 40 year career as the queen of performance art. I’m really not quite sure how to describe it all… it was really interesting and kind of dark and at times even a bit mortifying – and always completely intriguing. I couldn’t get enough. This was by far the highlight of my day! If you’re planning a trip to MOMA some time between now and May 31st, I order you to please take some time to check it out. You won’t regret it.
Before we headed up to the 6th floor, we actually saw her performing a piece where she is sitting still and speechless at a table every day during museum hours until May 31st. Across from her is a chair in which members of the public can sit and basically stare back at her. At first, I have to admit, I didn’t really get it. Later, as were walking out (after I’d seen her work upstairs), we walked past and I looked at her face which was so oddly calm amid all the noise and chaos in the museum, and something struck me – I suddenly felt like I really got it – or at least I got something out of it. In the center of everything going on – the noise, the lights, the people- she was perfectly calm, and for the person who chooses to sit across from her, they can experience this sort of rare quiet intimacy with a complete stranger, even among all the chaos. How often does one have the opportunity to experience that sort of connection even with those whom they know very well? It’s rare – and totally beautiful.
So now, I feel like the next time someone asks me who my favorite artist is, I’m going to have to begin with “Well, there this performance artist… ” and then try to explain some of her work as they look both shocked and confused. I look forward to it.