A few weeks ago I wrote a sort of existential blog post about how watching the documentary about the performance artist, Marina Abramovic inspired me to work on my art again.
About a week after that, I was in an art department meeting at school when my principal said Abramovic was coming to the school during Art Basel week. I could not believe my ears. But having worked at this school almost seventeen years, I knew not to get too excited as many things never really do happen.
A couple of weeks later, there we were, all the juniors and seniors sitting excitedly waiting for her arrival on Monday along with the art faculty who managed to abandon their other classes to see this amazing artist in person. Right at 1:00, when she was supposed to be there, my heart pounding and my head telling me she wasn’t really coming, Marina Abramovic walked in.
The room burst into applause as Abramovic marched to the podium, practically knocking over my principal on the way. She launched into her lecture which was more an inspirational talk about being an artist and why we do art. She spoke for over an hour and was completely riveting.
I asked her if she’d take a picture for our yearbook. (I’m the yearbook adviser) She wanted to take it with the kids. She stood in the middle of the group and when I said “ok everyone get close” she was almost swallowed by the crowd. The kids saw me sneak a selfie of the whole thing and out came their phones too. The moment erupted into a frenzy of selfies. Abramovic was completely engulfed by a crowd of exuberant children. I tried to get them to stop but one after the other posed with her. And her graciousness and patience was wonderful to watch.
I finally managed to extricate her from the lunatics and thanked her for being such a good sport. We shook hands and did the cheek kiss thing.
And then for the next five hours my body vibrated with excitement. I went home to have a jog but really ran almost full steam around the neighborhood for two miles. It took me all night to come down from my adrenaline high!
I have a lot more to say and reflect on than just telling you how I met this remarkable artist and had this amazing experience, but I’ll save that for my next post. For now, I just wanted to share the moment the universe opened up and gave me this remarkable gift.