“It’s endurance art,” I whispered to my spouse as we made our way through Marina Abromavic’s The Artist is Present at the Museum of Modern Art (through May 31). Actually it’s about a great many things–like the willingness of viewers to accept, embrace, that which might discomfort the sensibilities (depictions of violence, nudity either from a distance, or in close proximity). As someone whose interest in what lies beneath the surface frequently gets him into trouble, I was amused by New York Magazine’s coverage of the event, though I confess I never once thought about how Marina “eliminates.” Still, I wondered:
1. Were the couple with the intertwined hair first de-loused?
2. Did the men who humped the grass suffer abrasions?
3. Was it wise to choose a well-endowed man for the doorway squeeze? Hard not to knock it as one passed, poor guy.
4. The copper bed was genius (I welcomed the lay-down, thank you), but does anyone swab the headrest?
5. Do celebrities also have to wait in line to sit with Marina? Maybe that’s why the other people cry…
Kidding aside, the show is one of MOMA’s best–catch it quick. Illustration by Mark Nerys