Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again. At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing it and this is what happened.
such a lovely find this video was...
The only blunder was the applause.
Sometimes I wish people can do exactly what Marina has done here
and bottle up the emotion, only slightly, and release it in a way so pure
and tender to the moment. Noise can be such a stain to
the beauty that is silence.
Slapping your hands together or shouting or evening talking to show
happiness, or approval is probably one of the most overrated
gestures we have to date.
As for me, I am quite fond of people watching.
Not in a creepy, peering through your windows sort of way.
Moreso in an I'm sitting at a cafe and possibly staring for 2 minute intervals
at someone across the room way.
Only because I find the fact that there are so many people
we interact with indirectly everyday, yet will never know
their name. So I look into them and mental ask them questions that
will never be answered. I play out their day based on their disposition
I find them in... sometimes I pray for them. Sometimes I don't.
Sometimes I actually approach them and converse, but that is rare.
I would hate for them to ruin the picture I have painted in my head about them.
To answer those questions and sour the beauty of my own answer with
some level of ignorance and looseness.
So... we remain strangers. We may see each other the following day in the
elevator or cafe or pumping gas and
I still will not know their name.
Next time you attend a stage play or watch your child
dance in the living room, try to refrain from using your
typical vehicle of expression. Rather be silent
and let the pleasantries embed themselves in you and
escape only to wash over you.