Friday, 18 March 2011

Reseach and Reference Material.

Obviously as part of my EMP, reference material is vitally important. Moreover, it probably benefits me more than my brief as I have to source new artists/ illustrators, increasing my depth of knowledge and interest. One performance artist that I came across was Marina Abramovic.

She is a New York based performance artist, originally from Yugoslavia. She began her career during the 1970s, and describes herself as the grandmother of performance art. Her work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body and the possibilities of the mind.

She once stated:

I was very angry because I understood there is a physical limit: when you lose consciousness you can’t be present; you can’t perform.”

One piece of work that caught my attention was exhibited at the MOMA in NYC. It was called The Artist is Present. It involved two naked male models standing at the entrance; Hence making the viewer squeeze between them to enter the exhibition. This therefore causes a space restriction, while also highlighting the fact that clothes themselves restrict the body.

I can't say that I would feel comfortable entering an exhibition in such close proximity to the naked models- but that maybe the point. The idea of feeling awkward and uncomfortable limits your mind; your open-mindedness. However, I found Abramovic's work fascinating to research, especially as I have not really explored performance art in the past...

The image above shows another performance piece from the same exhibition The Artist is Present; in which Abramovic sat and stared at one member of the audience at a time from across a table. 

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