Please Don’t Touch the Art(ists)

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04/16/2010 9:37 AM |

Marina Abramovic and her then-partner Ulay perform Imponderabilia in the 70s. Note that the unidentified museumgoer isnt grabbing anybodys junk.
  • Marina Abramovic and her then-partner Ulay perform “Imponderabilia” in the 70s. Note that the unidentified museumgoer isn’t grabbing anybody’s junk.

The Marina Abramovic retrospective at MoMA involves many performance artists posing in the nude, and so naturally, the Times reports, Museum patrons have been just cold gropin’ at the personal areas of the human installations, because you would just reach out and cup the ass of a Rodin sculpture, wouldn’t you? Or grab a stranger’s junk in the elevator?

On the one hand, part of Abramovic’s project is to confront viewers with the human body in all sorts of extremis, so that we might confront our own feelings about it; in that sense, the inappropriate touching and more frequent incidents of puerile verbal harassment of the live standing nudes reveals much, if nothing good.

On the other hand, you know, no big deal, just a degraded culture raised with no discipline or awareness of how to behave in a space shared with others. (If this is how they act at the MoMA, just imagine what they’ll do to your lawn.)