POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
Marina Abramovic, The Artist is Present at MoMA
Speculation about how performance artist Marina Abramovic pees has been growing steadily over the weekend. Permanently seated on the second floor of the MoMA, her performance “The Artist is Present” invites one sitter at a time to stare at her. She never leaves her chair.
Artnet’s twitter points to artists Mira Schor and William Powhida, both of whom have suggested the existence of a catheter within the dress. (Update: Commentor Jesse P. Martin points readers to a video which shows a hole in the chair for her pee). Fair enough, but if the pee’s being collected Art Fag City wants to know what’s being done with it. After all, as a performance artifact, the urine would likely need to be insured and could at some point conceivably be sold.
As it happens, we speculated similarly when discussing Brian Eno’s impromptu performance at MoMA in 1995 involving Duchamp’s insured toilet. After a discussion at the museum which discuss the insurance of the piece for $30,000, Eno claimed the administration corrupted the artist’s intention for the piece to live as random hardware, and pissed in it as an act “re-commode-ification”. But as a star himself, his efforts were probably in vein. The toilet is now undoubtedly worth more because of his piss. The act also suggests the existence of a famous artist pee archive some where in the museum. Now there’s an exhibition drawn from MoMA’s collection I want to see!