The Artist Is Not Present But the Brand Sure Is

CHICAGO — Every performance online and off is essentially about energy. Marina Abramović knows this, and so after her 2010 endurance-based performance at MoMA “The Artist is Present,” she disappeared in order to train with shamans in Brazil where she learned more about energy, and took time to heal. After reading fellow Hyperallergic reporter Jillian Steinhauer’s “Jay-Z Raps at Marina Abramović, or the Day Performance Art Died” last week, however, I’ve been thinking about the idea of the artist’s brand as being present rather than the artist herself, and how that affects Marina’s arguably new-age-y reasonings around “energy” and being present.

A Performance Art Adventure on a Monday Night in Brooklyn

On Monday night, I finally made it out to the Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival for day (evening, really) 3 of the Super Coda series, an ongoing experimental cabaret curated by Valerie Kuehne. The event took place at Goodbye Blue Monday, a grungy yet homey place that’s part bar, part cafe, part performance venue (like so many other spaces in Brooklyn), and is entirely un-air-conditioned.

In Pursuit of the Glittering Point

The title of Shanti Grumbine’s current exhibition at A.I.R. Gallery, The Glittering Point, comes from the phrase “glittering generalities,” which, according to the artist, became popular in the mid-nineteenth century. The term describes propaganda that champions vagueness to evoke positive feelings rather than actually communicating information. Grumbine begins her process with this phrase in mind, as she collects startling imagery of war, scintillating images of luxury items, and both iconic and candid political campaign photos from the New York Times.

The Art Market Is the Market Is the Market

Yesterday’s critique of Allison Schrager’s art market takedown in Quartz was about something that is ultimately quite simple: certain fictions about the exceptional irrationality or corruption of the art market are sustained for various reasons — from marginalized artists who would sooner believe that it is the art market, rather than the market entire, which is predisposed against them to financial journalists who want to legitimize their own lack of scrutiny for “the real economy” by using the art market as a straw man for “inefficient” or “corrupt” markets.

When Will There Be a Memorial for NYC’s Second African Burial Ground?

It took two centuries for the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan to be remembered, when 18th century bones were found interred in a forgotten cemetery beneath the construction of a new high dollar federal development in 1991. While that long-overlooked cemetery is now remembered with a museum and monument, much less has been done to commemorate New York City’s Second African Burial Ground, and the dead deserve better.

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