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Art November, 15 2011

Recap | Marina Abramović and the 2011 MOCA Gala – “An Artist’s Life Manifesto”

Over the past week Marina Abromović, or the center pieces and rotating heads she unveiled on the tables at the 2011 MOCA Gala in Los Angeles, had stirred up quite the controversy. Mostly from legendary dancer Yvonne Rainer.

While Abramović was in Los Angeles this week auditioning performers to become living centerpieces of sort at the gala dinner tables (they will be kneeling beneath tables, poking their head through holes in them), Rainer has been circulating a letter, addressed to MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch and signed by such art-world luminaries as critic Douglas Crimp, calling the work “exploitative” and a “grotesque spectacle.”

But in its report on the controversy, Artinfo.com published long quotes from one version of the letter, and got a response from Abramović: “I hope the performance itself will bring some kind of dignity, serenity, and concentration to the normal situation of a gala, and actually change the energy of the space and bring the performance into an everyday life situation.” via: Culture Monster – L.A. Times

As with most reaction to a performance or piece of art before it is actually unveiled, it was mostly hyperbole (go figure) and the performers left the event with their dignity in tact.

Some images from the event after the jump.

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