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<nettime> ARTINFO > Yvonne Rainer > open letter to LA MOCA MOCA director
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<nettime> ARTINFO > Yvonne Rainer > open letter to LA MOCA MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch


< http://blogs.artinfo.com/artintheair/2011/11/11/read-the-full-text-of-yvonne-rainers-letter-denouncing-marina-abramovics-la-moca-gala/ >

Earlier this morning, ARTINFO reported that famed choreographer
Yvonne Rainer sent a letter to Los Angeles MOCA director Jeffrey
Deitch denouncing artist Marina Abramovic's plans for the museum's
annual gala, which involves installing performers under gala
tables, turning them into disembodied rotating heads for
three-hour-long stretches over a period of two days. The
performers would be paid a paltry $150 for their troubles. Read
the full text of the letter below.

     November 9, 2011

     To Jeffrey Deitch:

     I am writing to protest the "entertainment" about to be provided
     by Marina Abramovic at the upcoming donor gala at the Museum of
     Contemporary Art. It has come to my attention that a number of
     young people will be ensconced under the diners' tables on lazy
     Susans and also be required to display their nude bodies under
     fake skeletons.

     This description is reminiscent of "Salo," Pasolini's
     controversial film of 1975 that dealt with sadism and sexual abuse
     of a group of adolescents at the hands of a bunch of post-war
     fascists. Reluctant as I am to dignify Abramovic by mentioning
     Pasolini in the same breath, the latter at least had a socially
     credible justification in the cause of anti-fascism. Abramovic and
     MOCA have no such credibility, only a flimsy personal rationale
     about eye contact. Subjecting her performers to public humiliation
     at the hands of a bunch of frolicking donors is yet another
     example of the Museum's callousness and greed and Ms Abramovic's
     obliviousness to differences in context and to some of the
     implications of transposing her own powerful performances to the
     bodies of others. An exhibition is one thing -- this is not a
     critique of Abramovic's work in general -- but titillation for
     wealthy diners as a means of raising money is another.

     Ms Abramovic is so wedded to her original vision that she – and by
     extension, the Museum director and curators -- doesn't see the
     egregious associations for the performers, who, though willing,
     will be exploited nonetheless. Their desperate voluntarism says
     something about the generally exploitative conditions of the art
     world such that people are willing to become victims of a
     celebrity artist in the hopes of somehow breaking into the show
     biz themselves. And at sub-minimal wages for the performers, the
     event verges on economic exploitation and criminality.

     This grotesque spectacle promises to be truly embarrassing. We the
     undersigned wish to express our dismay that an institution that we
     have supported can stoop to such degrading methods of fund
     raising. Can other institutions be far behind? Must we re-name
     MOCA "MODFR" or the Museum of Degenerate Fund Raising?

     Sincerely,

     Yvonne Rainer

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