An Open Letter From a Dancer Who Refused to Participate in Marina Abramovic’s MOCA Performance


Allegations of exploitation for Marina Abramovic’s work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles - the artist with cult status in Asia, okay, maybe everywhere.

“I refused to participate as a performer because what I anticipated would be a few hours of creative labor, a meal, and the chance to network with like-minded colleagues turned out to be an unfairly remunerated job. I was expected to lie naked and speechless on a slowly rotating table, starting from before guests arrived and lasting until after they left (a total of nearly four hours). I was expected to ignore (by staying in what Abramovic refers to as "performance mode") any potential physical or verbal harassment while performing. I was expected to commit to fifteen hours of rehearsal time, and sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement stating that if I spoke to anyone about what happened in the audition I was liable for being sued by Bounce Events, Marketing, Inc., the event’s producer, for a sum of $1 million dollars plus attorney fees.

I was to be paid $150.

The time has come for artists in Los Angeles and elsewhere to unite, organize, and work toward changing the degenerate discrepancies between the wealthy and powerful funders of art and the artists, mainly poor, who are at its service and are expected to provide so-called avant-garde, prescient content or "entertainment,...

I want to suggest another mode of thinking: WHEN WE, AS ARTISTS, ACCEPT OR REJECT WORK, when we participate in the making of a work, even (or perhaps especially) when it is not our own, WE CONTRIBUTE TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF STANDARDS AND PRECEDENTS FOR OUR COHORT AND ALL WHO WILL COME AFTER US.“

Well said, big amen to that!!!

Read the story here.

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