Author(s): Heather RoseDownload
A mesmerising literary novel about a lost man in search of connection – a meditation on love, art and commitment, set against the backdrop of one of the greatest art events in modern history, Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present.’This is a weirdly beautiful book.’ David Walsh founder and curator, MONA’Life beats down and crushes the soul, and art reminds you that you have one.’ Stella Adler’Art will wake you up. Art will break your heart. There will be glorious days. If you want eternity you must be fearless.’ From The Museum of Modern LoveShe watched as the final hours of The Artist is Present passed by, sitter after sitter in a gaze with the woman across the table. Jane felt she had witnessed a thing of inexplicable beauty among humans who had been drawn to this art and had found the reflection of a great mystery. What are we? How should we live?If this was a dream, then he wanted to know when it would end. Maybe it would end if he went to see Lydia. But it was the one thing he was not allowed to do.Arky Levin is a film composer in New York separated from his wife, who has asked him to keep one devastating promise. One day he finds his way to The Atrium at MOMA and sees Marina Abramovic in The Artist is Present. The performance continues for seventy-five days and, as it unfolds, so does Arky. As he watches and meets other people drawn to the exhibit, he slowly starts to understand what might be missing in his life and what he must do.This dazzlingly original novel asks beguiling questions about the nature of art, life and love and finds a way to answer them.
Some Reviews: 1045 in Goodreads.com
Utterly fascinating. I love art, all forms, all ideas, and whenever I encounter a piece of artwork I like, I try to envision what the artist was thinking as he created. Oftentimes will find myself reading up on the artist, trying to understand. Marina Abromovic is a controversial figure in the art world, her live art has certainly drawn attention. Her expose at the MOMA in 2010, the artist is present, Drew some of the largest crowds ever at that museum. A simple table, two chairs, Marina sitting completely still, inviting whomever wished to sit next to her and gaze into her eyes, for however long they wished. Over 1500 would take the challenge, over 850,000 watched, some visiting day after day simply to watch. Caught up in they knew not what. Curiousity, energy, many marveling how she could do this for almost three months.
This is the story of that performance, but also of some of those who sat with or, and some who just watched. It is the background of Marina, some of her previous and often dangerous performances. Her life in the former country, Yugoslavia and even the thoughts of her mother, who is an outwordly presence floating around the exhibit. It is about a woman who pushes boundaries, and why she goes to such lengths. I have since researched more extensive background on this artist and she has many different segments on you tube. It is incredibly well written and wonderfully presented.
Strange and maybe brilliant at the same time, I have never read anything quite like this. This novel, also recently won the Stella Prize. Thanks to my Goodreads friend Lesley who pointed this out to me.
This came out in Australia in September 2016 and just came out in the United States this month. The author starts with the event of Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present at MOMA and explores the artist herself (in a fictional way but with permission and access to materials granted by the artist.) The rest of the novel is made up of the lives of the people drawn to the art. Nothing much happens, and I loved it. Through the various character the author is able to explore what draws people to art (both observing and creating,) selfishness vs connection (only in New York is making eye contact so revolutionary!), and what remains. This may be one of my best reads this year!
Thanks to the publisher for providing me early USA access through NetGalley. The book came out in the states earlier this month (December 2018.)
[4+]The Museum of Modern Love is about the power of art to awaken, challenge, soothe, transform…At the center is an actual event – the performance artist, Marina Abramovic, sitting in a chair at the Museum of Modern Art for 75 days, 7 hours a day. Visitors were invited to sit on a chair opposite her. The novel is about the effect her presence had on the lives of several individuals. I found it an extraordinary experience. Reading rarely brings me to tears, but this novel did.
(Thank you Bianca for recommending the stunning film “The Artist is Present” to me. I watched it after finishing the book. )
It was a slow morning at work. I poured myself a coffee and sat down across from a particularly endearing client of mine.
“Tell me story,” I asked him.
“Tell you a story?” He paused, and twinkled. “I will tell you a story with my eyes.” And with that he leaned forward a little, and we both gazed intently into each other’s eyes, smiles tugging at the creases of our mouths. It was over in twenty seconds.
It can be unnerving, looking deeply into someone’s eyes like that. Searching for emotions, trying to communicate caring, just waiting and being there. Some people cannot do it. They drop their gaze, tell stories while staring into a middle distance, unwilling or unable to share whatever of themselves will be revealed by their eyes.
This is a book about staring into people’s eyes, and the things you may see there, which more than likely include a reflection of your own damn self.
I’m not even going to try and write a proper review of this, because I won’t be able to do it justice. Such a unique premise – a novel following a handful of people whose lives become linked through (the real life exhibition) Marina Abramovic’s “The Artist is Present” at MOMA in New York. The story explores art, love, life among many other things and is fantastic in every way. Just go and read it.
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