First published in the Arts' magazine, Pyragraph
Or, should I say Igor Levit’s Goldberg? Entering the Park Avenue Armory, New York’s most epic performance space, the crowds were glowing with an air of palpable excitement, and slight haughtiness. They clearly knew art, especially the kind of groundbreaking, innovative performance art babushka Marina Abramovic presents to the enlightened, adventurous hoard who have been following her for the over three decades.
One wonders before the show if she has now turned into a hands-off guru? Has she become content to simply direct and marionette others through her fantasies, rather than perform herself? Ms. Abramovic simply lends her “method for listening to music”, i.e., being in a soundless, head-phoned, beach chair-sitting environment and witnessing the conceptualization of a classical music performance.
At least this is what cynical me has running through my head as I come into the grand hall. Yes, I am a performance art curmudgeon in the midst of the enthusiasts—an excited curmudgeon, but one nonetheless. My partner and I sit amongst the low hum of chatter as the hall fills, people tripping over the aforementioned white lounge chairs in their tizzy to find a good spot. The lighting genius of Urs Schonebaum presents us with a dimly lit space, squared by four “doors” of light on each wall. A gong sounds. Yes, a mythical Asian gong. I resist rolling my eyes. Read More…