The crowd was a mixed bag sprinkled with MoMA/Marina aficionados like myself, and tourists who may have picked the American holiday in search of Van Gogh. I heard people inquiring on the waxy faced woman sitting in the middle of the 2nd floor atrium. Italian tourists stood closely behind talking about the crowds and commenting on the clothing of sitters.
MoMA/PS1 curator Klaus Biesenbach (who I just learned is a young 42!) was the final sitter and the crowd pulsed with excitement as it neared 5 o’clock. I tweeted asking @Museumnerd if Klaus was crying, I was too far to see his face and wondered about the dynamic between artist/curator in the final moments of a successful exhibition.
5:00 P.M.-Clapping erupted from a now standing crowd that moved in waves of one collective sigh and admiration for the previously blue clad, now in white Marina who stood hugging those around her before walking the inner circle of the crowd thanking people.
In an emotional closing after a total a performance equaling over 700+ hours of sitting, I couldn’t help but think of Gandalf the Grey emerging as Gandalf the White and the return of Christ after crucifixion. I thought of a friend who recently referred to Marina as narcissistic and self serving, and found myself both excited and jaded by the end of her performance. Was it the strange audience who blocked my view, that is; my connection between artist and sitter, or was I responding to the theatricality, the white costuming and the weight the non-color carries within a religious realm. *Edit: Maybe its all about the Mythology of the self and having the rare opportunity to create the tension of mythology while still living..*
Either way, The Artist is Present and Was Present and has made her mark even that much deeper in the timeline of contemporary performance. For that both myself, the artworld and those who were present if only for a brief stay in New York, raised our voices, clapped our hands and saluted her grand effort in reminder that sometimes being present is all that really matters.
— Posted from my iPhone