POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
Left: MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach and MoMA president emeritus Agnes Gund. Right: Artist Marina Abramović and dealer Sean Kelly. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky). Image via: ArtForum
Holy crap. ArtForum’s Linda Yablonsky offers up the craziest account of MoMA’s celebrity dinner for performance artist Marina Abramovic’s newly closed show, including a rather astounding blunder on the part of exhibition organizer Klaus Beisenbach;
For entertainment, Abramović had imported a Montenegrin vocalist, Svetlana Spajic, who appeared in traditional dress and sang a haunting Serbian folk song a cappella to more cheers. But the most unsettling part of the evening came when the tippling Biesenbach took the podium. He didn't thank anyone. Instead he used the moment to make public his two-decade-long unrequited love for Abramović. “Look at me, Marina,” he began. “Listen to me, Marina,” he went on. “Why don't you look at me? You know,” he then said to the guests, tossing aside his prepared remarks, “she can't see anyone without her glasses,” thereby negating the experience of all those sitters who thought she was paying special attention to them. This brought loud murmurs. “Will you stop talking and listen to me?” he said. “OK, don't listen. I don't care. Marina? Are you listening?” It didn't stop there.
Recalling how he had fallen in love with Abramović, twenty years his senior, at first sight, he said that he believed she had fallen in love with him too. “Biggest mistake of my career,” he said, though clearly not bigger than this one.
Got that crying sitters? Abramovic can’t even see you.