New York, October 5, 2009
What a nice surprise it was to find myself seated at your table at Feinstein's the other night. I will never forget what it was like to witness an old-fashioned cabaret show with you, the self-described "grandmother of performance art," seated right next to me!
I wanted to congratulate you on your upcoming MoMA retrospective, Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present. I was very excited to hear from you that you will be creating a 596-hour long solo performance piece for the occasion, for this surely means that you finally get paid by the hour. Congratulations! I'm sure your MoMA friend Klaus Biesenbach used his clout to negotiate a saftig hourly rate for you - but I wonder if they will pay you overtime, given that you will start your act before the Museum opens and continue performing after it closes? Oh, I'd love to be the fly on the wall to witness your performance in an empty MoMA, watching you fill the literal and spiritual void of the building with your aura!
It was inspiring to hear you talk about your recent visit to Plymouth where you received your third Honorary Doctorate of Arts. Dr. Dr. Dr. Abramovic! Now that would be a great title for a retrospective - maybe the next one? I very much would have liked to chat more with you about Plymouth and your travels, but I of course understand that you had to dash out after the show to get enough sleep before your 6:30 AM session with your personal trainer the next morning. Seeing the daunting task that lies ahead of you with those 596 hours of uninterrupted performing, getting the body fit is crucial at this stage! I could certainly use the help of a trainer myself to get in shape for my current series of street performances, ADMIT ONE, where I sit for hours on an uncomfortable, tiny folding chair, perched behind my little HOMU Booth. My knees always hurt like crazy afterwards! During the performance, I hand out free ticket stubs for the Homeless Museum to anyone who shows interest and declare the Museum to be wherever I am - with the city's homeless being its living art. According to the latest figures, there are about 40,000 homeless dwelling in New York City's streets and shelters. My goal is to hand out as many ticket stubs as there are homeless in New York. So far, I have opened my booth four times, for an average of 5 hours, during which I have handed out an average of 15 tickets. If I have the math right, it will ultimately take me 13,333.334 hours to complete this performance - without any compensation but, admittedly, with intermittent breaks.
As promised, I am sending you a sample of my Eau D'Abramovic, the facial tonic I created out of drippings from an ice block you used in your 2005 reenactment of Lips of Thomas at the Guggenheim. Your sample is taken from a limited edition that includes Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) as an enhancer. Please note that it is a facial tonic, not a perfume as you seemed convinced of when we spoke about it. It will certainly come in handy as refreshment for your skin during your MoMA marathon - it has done wonders for my razor bumps! Just sprinkle some Eau D'Abramovic on a cotton ball and lightly dab your face and neck with it. Don't get it in your eyes, and certainly don't drink it - no matter how thirsty you are (I know you are quick to ingest spiritual essences - like the one you got from your new guru, John of God, with whom you met last week in Rhinebeck, but please hold off this once). Repeat as desired.
PS: Klaus already has an Eau sample; I sent it to him last winter. But rest assured that his is merely the ordinary version - sans witch hazel.
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