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Artist Marina Abramovic’s Gala at the LA MOCA

This past Saturday night was the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art’s annual gala. In recent years, the MOCA has made it a tradition for artists to plan this much anticipated event and this year’s choice for party planner was performance artist Marina Abramovic. Some of the superstar attendees included Gwen Stefani, Minnie Driver and Kirsten Dunst. The art world elite showed up as well, with big names like Shepard Fairey, John Baldessari, Ed Moses and Ed Ruscha.

Abramovic is known for her controversial performance and installation pieces, which have often involved her own, naked body. For this event, the artist employed the same psychological tactics that have driven her entire career – a desire to push people’s limits and to explore the relationship between the audience and the performer.

The gala was set up like Abramovic’s piece, Nude with Skeleton, with naked bodies, skeletons and emotionless faces set up around the room. The major difference between this event and Abramovic’s past exhibits is that this time the artist hired a slew of young actors to help complete her vision. There were two kinds of tables at the gala: long and rectangular and large and round. The centerpiece of each of the round tables was a naked woman, flat on her back, with a strategically placed skeleton on top of her. All actors were instructed not to show emotion or interact with the audience and according to attendees, they certainly complied. At the rectangular tables  human heads popped out of the center, some male, some female, and rotated (thanks to a the lazy Susans beneath them), emanating blank stares out into the room.

The night ended with pop icon Debbie Harry unveiling herself and then, strategically, a life-size version of herself made entirely out of cake. Harry cut the cake with an aggressive stab before serving it; an action that was received quite negatively by some. Although responses to Abramovic’s set up were mixed, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch was quite pleased with the turnout.

Source: The Huffington Post

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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014