Eye is the Most Naked Organ – Arthur Danto on Marina Abramovic
Marina Abramovic’s exhibition "The Artist is Present" at MoMA has received lots of attention. Everyone who saw this exhibition talks about the show, and all comments on this exhibitions are so personal, and also interesting.
I have written some articles on Marina, such as "Seven Easy Pieces" which was held in Guggenheim Museum, and also my MA thesis "The Influence of the Nation-State on Art - The Case of the Former Yugoslavian Countries".(the part on Marina is here) so I have a strong interest on her work, especially from historical perspectives.
The article on Abramovic's performance by Arthur Danto on NY Times
"Sitting With Marina" by ARTHUR C. DANTO
is quite well written, and I liked it, particularly the parts which he saw her performance through his filter of personal experience.
Until I read this article, I did not know that Mr. Danto was in Yugoslavia in the 1970s for teaching philosophical seminars as a Fulbright professor at the Inter-University Center of Postgraduate Studies in Dubrovnik.
Marina was born in 1946 between the parents of partisan heroes, but few years before Marina was born, Danto was in Italy as a young soldier, and sailed to the Dalmatian coast (currently called Croatia) with some partisans on dark night. It seems like that Danto has a lot to share with Marina.
In this article, Danto talks about the performance of Marina Abramovic, which is “eye-communication” between the two, and it seems quite personal, and touching. Also the photos of the person who sit in front of the artist have variety of faces, and most of them were crying.
Emmanuel Levinas says that eye is the most naked organ. As a performance, Marina Abramovic is doing the exchange only through her eye, most naked organ, without being naked as "usual".
As Japanese proverb says “目は口ほどにものを言う” (The eyes are eloquent as the tongue), Marina successfully convey her message through her naked eyes.