former love

Have you seen the video of the 2010 performance art piece artist Marina Abramovic did at the Museum of Modern Art, where she sat in a chair, and, one by one, people could sit opposite her and look into her eyes?

Oh my god, it was so powerful even just between strangers, but then her former lover/collaborator Ulay arrived without her knowledge. I was so moved I had to share it with you. As I watched the video I was thinking about how performance art is so often challenged as “real art” or not, and of how as a discipline performance is so much more interactive and aggressively about the relationship between the viewer and the artist. More than that, I think performance art is often about shared human experience, which is maybe why it seems so shocking, and hard to digest at times.

It was amazing to watch this piece as it unfolded to become so personal for the artist, and yet be so universal– How often, in our busy lives, do we take the time to stop, even just for one minute, and really look into the eyes, into the soul, of those around us?

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