Performance artist Marina Abramović takes over MOCA for the museum’s annual gala

Angeleno, November 2012

Performance art scene godmother Marina Abramović, hot off last year’s zeitgeist-tapping show The Artist is Present at MoMA, has now been given her first gig as an artistic director. Recruited by MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch to conceptualize this year’s annual museum gala on Nov. 12, Abramovic will be the emcee for the highly interactive event. —Alexis Johnson

Marina Abramovic

Party Planner: Marina Abramovic

Why did you decide to take Deitch up on his offer? I’ve never done anything like this and I like to do things I’ve never done. I love working with the public and am looking forward to creating an interactive situation, which normally is not done at events like this.

Do you consider the particular context of the audience when orchestrating a performance like this one? I understand that we are talking about 1,000 very powerful, very rich, very glamorous people who have come to sponsor MOCA. They are coming with designer clothes, really dressed up. So before they arrive at the tents, they are going to be given a lab coat; it’s going to be an interesting spectacle. So that means they all become experimenters, but also equals. And then every kind of dress code is canceled, which I think is very important and it will create some kind of unity. Throughout the evening they will understand, especially at the end, why it’s so practical to have the lab coats.

Sounds like you have something particularly surprising in store for the finale of this particular gala. Usually the audience will just be passive. They sit, have dinner and look at a program. But I like to engage them more than just that!


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