Marina Abramovic

Two weekends ago when I was in New York City with Jesse Hawk, we stopped by the MoMA to see the new installation The Artist is Present. Acclaimed performance artist Marina Abramovic is sitting across from strangers for hours every day. It makes a frenzy of New Yorkers be still for a moment as they watch, a feat in itself. One of the New York Times bloggers also featured her installation here. We spent the better part of twenty or thirty minutes watching her and the people around her, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head. Her stillness was awe-inspiring.

People's reactions vary. As you can see from the MoMA's Flickr, which features portraits of every person who sits with the artist, some people react really emotionally. When we were there a few broke down in tears, and that's pretty typical. She doesn't speak, doesn't actively make facial expressions; all communication is completely nonverbal between the two seated figures. Yvan Rodic
of The Facehunter features photographs of her exhibit as well.

Art just means connecting with other human beings. Whatever that means to you.