Marina Abramovic-Helmed MOCA Gala Had A-List Celebs
When you ask boundary breaking performance artist Marina Abramovic to direct your gala event, don't expect any old rubber chicken dinner party. Hence why the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) secured "The Artist is Present" creator to design its fourth annual star studded and flat-out mindblowing bash. Titled "An Artist’s Life Manifesto,” the benefit event was attended by Hollywood bold names including Pamela Anderson, Ellen Barkin, Minnie Driver, Kirsten Dunst, Lisa Edelstein, Will Ferrell, Miranda July, Jaime King, Jonny Lee Miller, Rose McGowan, Nicole Richie, Gwen Stefani, Tilda Swinton, and Dita Von Teese. Garage magazine founder Dasha Zhukova, Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Hedi Slimane (whose "California Song" exhibit just opened at the MOCA), and teen blogger wunderkind Tavi represented the fashion pack. Art notables Doug Aitken, John Baldessari, Mark Bradford, Shepard Fairey, Ed Ruscha, Larry Gagosian, and Jeffrey Deitch rounded out the guest list.
Whew. Now that the bold name attendance list is out of the way, let's talk about the performance art decor that Abramovic conjured up for the gala. After the elite attendees took in a private viewing of MOCA exhibits "Naked Hollywood: Weegee in Los Angeles" and "Kenneth Anger: ICONS", they then made their way to a massive dinner tent. Now, in order to enter the dinner portion of the evening, guests were supposed to don white lab coats. According to WWD, Kirsten Dunst, Jaime King, Nicole Richie and Gwen Stefani all obligingly complied, but Dita Von Teese wasn't having any of it. Pointing out her Jean Paul Gaultier gown, she stated, "I’m not putting anything over this." Also, sizing for the gents leaned toward the more, um, European fit with medium as the roomiest option.
The self-proclaimed "grandmother of performance art" didn't opt for just floral centerpieces. Instead, Abramovic paid homage to her 2002 “Nude With Skeleton" piece by alternating live model heads with the flowers. Did we also mention that the models were stark naked and on their knees under the table? Per the rules (spelled out on a card at each place setting), guests were not allowed to talk, touch, feed, or "disrespect" the model centerpieces in any way. Wonder engaging in a staring contest à la "The Artist is Present" counts as disrespecting...
Abramovic of course came out to perform some excerpts from "Artist’s Manifesto", but the finale performance by none other than Deborah Harry brought down the house. The diva came out in her requisite lab coat, but then tore it off to show her body-con red frock. She got the crowd going with classics including "Heart of Glass" and "One Way or Another". To end the night, a group of lab coat wearing "pallbearers" showed up again carrying amazingly lifelike cakes in the form of Harry and Abramovic — totally sans clothing. The real life versions proceeded to slice into their naked doppelgänger baked confections with carving knives, although the job was eventually completed by professionals who served up dismembered cake pieces to guests. All in all, a success as the event raised a cool $2.5 million for the MOCA and we're sure all the guests went home satisfied with a fashionably arty evening.
Check out the gallery below to spot the famous faces and the inspired centerpieces.
Images via Wire Image courtesy of MOCA