Artist in Residence
Marina Abramovic sat for her 700th and final hour at MoMA on Monday. With her exhibition The Artist Is Present, and its much-talked-about interactive performance marathon, all wrapped up, Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci and a host of Abramovic's longtime collectors threw a party in her honor at the museum last night. "I like that Marina gets a reaction, that she pushes the envelope and tests the boundaries," said Tisci. "I am humbled by her."
With the high-profile crowd (James Franco, Björk, Christina Ricci, and Liv Tyler included) and an ululating solo from Serbian vocalist Svetlana Spajic, this definitely wasn't your run-of-the-mill art gala. MoMA's director, Glenn Lowry, joked, "No exhibition has affected human resources like Marina's did," and then acknowledged the museum's head of security, Tunji Adeniji, who received not one but two standing ovations. When it was curator Klaus Biesenbach's turn at the mic, he started by saying, "I thought Marina was in love with me—biggest misunderstanding of my career," and ended by declaring his own love for her.
The speaker who got the biggest laughs, though, was Abramovic herself. "I look really decent," she said, thanking Tisci for her Givenchy jacket. "It's made from 101 snakes, which I'm sure died a natural death." Pointing out that things have changed a lot since her early days, she said, "Fashion was out of the question. There was no fashion for artists in the seventies. But I love vanity, I love fashion, and I don't have shame to tell you." Another sign of progress? "You don't have to sleep with a curator to get a show."