Halloween may be over, but this shit-show of an electoral haunted-hay-ride just got a little spookier.
Wikileaks has released an email purportedly hacked from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s inbox from none other than performance art star Marina Abramović. The email had been forwarded from his brother, lobbyist Tony Podesta last June, inviting John to join him at a “Spirit Cooking” party hosted by Abramović in New York, at the artist’s request.
“Spirit Cooking” is an Abramović piece supposedly inspired by famous Satanist Aleister Crowley’s occultist rituals. It involves the artist painting the walls with menstrual blood, breast milk, and other bodily fluids. The conspiracy theory internet has of course seized on this invitation as some sort of breadcrumb to a child trafficking ring … because, you know, 2016 logic.
For those curious about “Spirit Cooking”, MoMA has Abramović’s editioned portfolio of aphrodisiac “recipes” from 1996 in its permanent collection. The text piece includes lots of gems such as this:
But here’s an even better video of Abramović performing the ritual in Paliano, Italy in 1997:
So many bodily fluids! The real mystery here is why Marina Abramović even wanted to enthusiastically invite a lobbyist and presidential campaign chairman to watch her smear blood on the wall at a dinner party. [Note: a reader pointed out to us that Tony Podesta is a big-time art collector, and lists Abramović as a favorite.]
Yep. This is probably one of the weirdest (but least consequential) emails from the whole scandal. We can now go back to obsessing over Vladimir Putin’s manic quest for Anthony Weiner’s dick pics.
This is actually the second time in AFC’s history that Marina Abramović’s bodily fluids have inspired heated conjecture. In 2010, the location of Abramovic’s pee drew great public attention as her endurance performance “The Artist is Present” grew in popularity. Speculative maps and diagrams were drawn in effort to suss out how the artist peed during a piece in which she sat for 10 hours, without breaks, staring at audience members. Eventually, she was forced to make public statement on the issue: she holds it in.
Can we expect another revelatory press release in relation to this latest scandal?
UPDATE: Yes, Marina Abramović has made a statement! Apparently, this iteration of “Spirit Cooking” was much less sensational than her 1990s documentation would suggest. Last year’s “Spirit Cooking” dinner party was a reward for donors to a Kickstarter campaign.“It was just a normal dinner,” the artist told ARTnews, “It was actually just a normal menu, which I call spirit cooking. There was no blood, no anything else. We just call things funny names, that’s all.” In reference to the brewing conspiracy theories, Abramović noted “I mean, this world is really turning to hell… I am completely amazed, something is taken out of context for the purpose of winning… We are living in such a strange world.”
Thank you, Marina Abramović, for making it a little stranger.