Marina Abramović Talks MoCA Scandal, Movie and More

By Jim Allen

Ah, the L.A. art scene and it’s ability to stir up controversy. Marina Abramović — admittedly no stranger to controversial situations to begin with — stirred up something of a scandal last fall with her work on the 2011 MoCA gala. Her use of nude performance artists and other potentially provocative tactics turned the event into the West coast art world’s equivalent of Lana Del Rey‘s SNL performance. Everyone had an opinion about it, and they were only too happy to air them, to the point that there was actually a public forum held for people to hurl their accusations of an exploitative agenda towards Abramović. More than half a year later, we have hopefully achieved enough distance from the incident to gain a little perspective.

Towards that end, Abramović has granted an in-depth interview to the LA Weekly, in which the queen of performance art gets into her actual motivations for the aforementioned moves. She also discusses Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present, a documentary by Matthew Akers about her 2010 MoMA retrospective show, which went as far towards making performance art a “respectable” medium as any other event in recent memory. Along the way, she also gets into everything from Lady Gaga‘s meat dress to why it’s okay to get naked in public.