Last spring, I had the opportunity to observe the powerhouse of Marina Abromovic in her exhibition at the MoMA ―The Artist Is Present.‖ There is more behind this woman and this particular performance than I could possibly do justice to in wrapping up this letter, but let me give you a tiny glimpse. Marina sat for a total of 716 hours and 30 minutes in a chair by a table on the first floor of the museum. Across from her sat individuals from the public like you and me. They were lined up waiting for hours on end to sit across from her. To do what, you may ask? To stare. To be present. To be there with her in the same space in time. People would sit there for as long as possible without looking away or loosing connection. This could be 5 minutes, or 5 hours, depending on what you were made up of and practically, how much you were enjoying the ride. It was unearthing to observe, and painful at the same time. It was almost as if Marina had turned into a type of pagan god which people were lining up to pay homage to. The draw, the pull, of having someone’s full attention on you. I’m sure we can all fully relate to that desire. Marina looked exhausted, totally wiped out, dizzy, weary, and undeniably brave. I could feel the weight in her bones and watched with relief as after each meeting, she rested her head back and took a breath. She was human after all. A fierce Yugoslavian human, but still skin, soul, and bones. Her goals was to stay present for all those hours, with all those people. Through one medium: a blank stare.
Art allows us to be stared at. Perhaps we have been strung along all this time thinking that we were making art instead of it being art that makes us. Maybe we are the muses that art keeps close by its side on lonely evenings. But what is staring back at us is quite different than a reflection. It is a choice.
So what does this have to do with the magazine that you are reading: our first issue? (Huzzah.) Everything. I’d like you to reflect on this point in the process and see what you do with that. Find your own blank stare and greet something very different from yourself staring back at you, humming a tune you thought you knew but didn’t. What are the ingredients that make up your method? As we have just recently passed this point in our own process here at Method Press, we invite you to enjoy and become an active part of our community as we grow and take shape.
7 method press
Published on Apr 13, 2011
The debut issue of Method Press. Method press is an independent art-filled quarterly celebrating low-fi thinkers. If you would like order yo...