Models and artists who perform naked in the popular Marina Abramovic retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art report instances of groping, unexpected flirtations, and online stalking from visitors. And they aren't necessarily complaining.
Abramovic, a Serbian-born performance artist, is known for work that explores the limits of the body. According to
The New York Times,
"Ms. Abramovic's work, which often involves nudity and sitting, standing or lying down for long periods, has invited close encounters of all kinds at the MoMA exhibition. And the show has made fascinated spectators out of the performers themselves, who have generally enjoyed being part of it, despite undeniable challenges."
One performer in a re-enactment of the piece "Imponderabilia" said he heard of three instances in which visitors were tossed from the gallery for "inappropriate touching." Another told the
that, "standing with his arms at his side he had felt more erections 'across the back of my hand than I can count.'"
MoMA issued a brief statement saying that incidents have been few, and that the museum is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of the performers in the retrospective, called
The Artist Is Present.