First I went to Skin Fruit at the New Museum, where I saw Pawel Althamer’s ‘Schedule of the Crucifix‘ of 2005 enacted, not by the man above but by another artist who ascended his position a little later than his 3 pm schedule and seemed intent on hanging from the leather straps for a good while. In addition to the leather straps, he sits on a bicycle seat–making the position demanding but not insupportable.
Then I went to see The Artist is Present at MoMA, where I saw a re-enactment of Marina Abramovic’s Luminosity of 1997 where a naked women appears high on a wall, sitting on a bicycle seat with her heels resting on metal supports. Her arms spread wide away from her, whether holding onto the metal straps or high above her head. She maintains this position in a brightly lit square of light. While not distinctly a crucifixion, the position is similar and is places the performer on a wall as does Schedule of the Crucifixion.
Is there a connection between the two visually similar and striking pieces of performance art? The former seemed theatrical in comparison to the starkness of the latter performance. I felt like I was watching a living statue or a painting come to life. I couldn’t watch either for a long time and thankfully was distracted from the performance by a train of thought about bicycle seats. Second train of thought: performance artists are made of different stuff than I. Very, very different stuff.