In 2010 I was lucky enough to supervise a trip to America. With 58 students and 7 other staff, we visited three cities – New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. and as we were only there for a week our itinerary was jam packed with as many sightseeing opportunities as we could possibly could manage. (We actually ended up being stranded in D.C. for an extra week after the volcanic explosion in Iceland grounded all flights, but that’s another story).
In New York, we went to the Museum of Modern Art, which I was really excited about. During our visit we saw that there was a retrospective taking place, during which Marina Abramović, a Serbian artist performed a thought-provoking piece named ‘The Artist is Present.’ Sitting in silence, she invited viewers to sit directly opposite her at a table. Anyone and everyone could participate, but nothing would be said if they chose to do so. Intruiged, some of our students joined in and sat down for a few minutes. I noticed that after each person left the table she would close her eyes until the next sat down.
A few weeks ago, a story about the performance appeared on Facebook, and I instantly clicked on the video because of the memories I had of it. What I saw moved me very deeply… Continue reading