As part of the retrospective of her work at New York’s famed Museum of Modern Art, performance artist Marina Abramović invites her audience to interact closely with her, in a work that challenges them both physically and emotionally. Beginning before the Museum opens each day and continuing until after it closes each night, Abramović sits at a harsh wooden table, while visitors take turns sitting silently across from her. Their reactions are documented and shared on both MoMA’s Flickr photostream and a Tumblr blog titled “Marina Abramović Made Me Cry”.
Fans of Abramović’s work, which stretches over three decades, wait in line in the cavernous, sterile space for their chance to interact with “the grandmother of performance art” on such an intimate level. Given the amount of people who will participate in the work over the 10-week run of Marina Abramović: the Artist is Present, though, may suggest that the experiment is not quite as personal as it first appears to be.