Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Self-mutilation & Marina Abramovic

Marina Abramovic cuts herself in the shape of a Star of David, and lays on blocks of ice as her stomach bleeds.
The Performance agenda
If you were watching this performance art, would you stand up and say, 'Stop!' and rush towards the naked bleeding woman on the cross of ice to end this S&M flavoured performance?

Maybe you'd think someone else would stop it, the same way someone else would save Kitty Genovese.

Or maybe you'd say, "She's brilliant! I'm so impressed! Is there any way I can purchase documentation of this?"

Maybe you'd check your watch, and hope this part wouldn't take the full half-hour.

How do you feel about blood, about pain, about religion?

Or what brought you to see it in the first place?

Maybe she's your friend, and you're trying to support her artistic practice. Maybe you're the owner of the space and are excited about the new things going on, or maybe you're a member of the press she's invited out, maybe your partner took you out for dinner and some drama, maybe you got bored and fell asleep, maybe you knew there would be a beautiful naked woman bleeding and that was what sold your ticket. What does it say to you, and how does where you're coming from affect what you see, and how you react?

Marla Carlson comments on that, here