Why Aren't You Present?

Why Aren't You Present?

"Realize the power of art that does not hang on the walls of galleries." Abramović
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In a world where media consumption is easily accessible and the art world can be navigated at your fingertips, not just in a gallery, how can artists capture our attention? Paintings can become mass produced prints and you can explore sculptures in 360 view finders online. An art medium that has maintained its one-of-a-kind in person novelty is the performance art piece. Filming the performance cannot do it justice, photographing it lends no hand, the only way to experience it is to be present.

“We always project into the future or reflect in the past but we are so little in the present.” – Marina Abramović

Watch a clip of Abramović's The Artist is Present.

But what’s the point of being a performance artist? Why should we engage with performance art if we can sit at home and keep up with the newest art and trends on Tumblr? What makes it worth it?

Think of an art form that serves to break down boundaries, toe lines of discomfort, and denounce the material. An art form that is unsellable, an experience that is simply that, an experience.

“The most revolutionary ideas are not sellable, but only mind-changing.” – Marina Abramović

Performance art has been on the rise since the early twentieth-century, sparked by movements such as Futurism and Dada. Performance gave artists the opportunity to forge an experience for the audience that left them convinced rather than working their words into a material form in hopes of persuasion. Artists embraced the mediums propensity toward more radical subject matter including political dissent and feminism as early as the 1960s.

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle.

Performance art has shown more than any other medium that, “Good art is not what it looks like, but what it does to us.” – Roy Adzak

Here are a few examples of powerful performance art that made us feel something.

  • Carolee Schneeman, Interior Scroll (1975)

After smearing her nude body in paint, Schneeman then pulled text inscribed paper from her vagina and read it aloud to the audience. The text was likely her response to a male critic’s critique of her work. Talk about baring it all and leaving the audience with more than a few questions.

  • Chris Burden, Shoot (1971)

Burden addresses humanity’s call to morality when he stood against a wall whilst his best friend shot him .22 rifle in his arm.

  • Yves Klein, The Anthropometries of the Blue Period (1958)

Actresses painted in blue served as Klein’s paintbrushes for his live audience painting. Klein’s work was inspired by the atomic explosions of Hiroshima and Nagasaki years prior.

  • Joseph Beuys, Coyote: I Like America and America Likes Me (1974)

Beuys lived in a gallery for three days with a wild coyote and each day the Wall Street Journal was dropped off for the coyote to use the bathroom on.

  • Linda Montano, Tehching Hsieh, One Year Performance (a.k.a. Rope Piece) (4 July 1983 - 3 July 1984)

An eight-foot piece of rope bound these two artists together for a year and although they were always in the same space, they didn’t touch the whole time they were bound.

  • Marni Kotak, The Birth of Baby X (2011)

Kotak built a birthing area at an art gallery where she had a live water birth overseen by a doula.

  • Casey Jenkins, Vagina Knitting (2013)

For 28 days Jenkins pushed wool up her vagina and pulled it out as she knit during the day.

  • Janine Antoni, Loving Care (1992)

Antoni coated her hair in black hair dye, using the soaked mass to paint live on the floor.

  • Mona Hatoum, Performance Still (1985)

Hatoum walked barefoot through the city for an hour while her Doc Martin boots tied to her ankles trailed behind her.

  • Marina Abramović, The Artist is Present (2010)

For 736 hours Abramović sat on display at MOMA, silently for 8 hours a day. Abramović broke down boundaries between life and art. “Communication starts when words are not present at all. I think we put so much emphasis on language; actually silence is so much more important.”


Cover Image Credit: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-S7kxNmwDdMg/UUzkluhTvkI/AAAAAAAAF1Y/lY72bEOBQzk/s1600/23527_marina_abramovic_filtered.jpg

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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News Flash: 'Building The Wall' Is Still A Dumb Idea And Always Will Be

The government is still partially shutdown because of funding for the wall. Really?

ddrodzx
ddrodzx
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A man who is a strong supporter of building the wall told me this metaphor: If you don't want the wrong people walking into your backyard, you put a fence up. We don't want the wrong people coming to America, so we put a wall up. I respect people's political beliefs, and because of this, I want to share mine.

I believe that President Trump demanding money to build a border wall is dumb.

It's hard to believe so many people really think that this "build a wall" has everything to do about border security. It's just inhumane and wrong.

Literally, the most notorious drug lord of Mexico has shed light about how he smuggles the drug into the U.S. They have brought it through fishing boats, trucks going through the legal point of entry, underground tunnel, but not through unwalled parts. The half of million pounds of narcotics that were secured at the border? They were all al legal points of entry.

I'm saying this because I am a proud daughter of immigrants who crossed the border. The media has portrayed immigrants as these horrible people infiltrating our country. They just want somewhere safe to live to raise their kid.

The conditions of Latin American countries are inexplicable. Communist have risen from the ashes dominating these countries letting people rot on the street starving. There are little to no job opportunities. I haven't seen my family in three years because it is dangerous to go.

The media doesn't tell you this. They don't tell you how many people have gone to the border and returned to Mexico because ICE agents tear gas them.

They tell you that they throw babies over fences to distract border patrol agents. They tell you children are dying because of malnutrition of trekking thousands of miles to get the border. They don't tell you that those same children have been eating unmonitored food with thousands of microorganism some mal some good.

Not all immigrants are not bad people. The notions that all immigrants are criminals is "fake news." It has been a hook, line, and sinker for the Republican Party. There are studies such as one from the journal Criminology showing that places with high undocumented immigrant population does not equal high crime.

Should undocumented citizens attempt to become legal residents of the United States? Absolutely, and that is a problem if they are evading taxes and other legal notions with more consequences.

However, we should not lie to ourselves and act as a wall is to help border security against drugs and crime. It's just a physical quota like 1920s immigration laws. There is a better solution then sacrificing 5.7 billion dollars. Let me translate that: 5,700,000,000 dollars. That is our taxes. As a college student, I rather have those 5.7 billion dollars be translated to scholarship, grants, financial aid, and helping us, the future of this country become the best people we can be. Why build a wall when the future of America, who I personally think is more important can be helped.

I don't come from a rich family, and I don't have the means to afford a college education without loans, so when I hear that the Government can afford to give 5.7 billion dollars for a wall, I have the right to be upset. Tell me I'm wrong, and call me dumb, but this is my unpopular opinion.

ddrodzx
ddrodzx

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