Thursday, May 13, 2010
Sitting in stillness
May 17 - 19 stares at me blankly. May 20 is already completely set aside as a family day in Rhode Island.
When making plans, it is expected that some things will change, and shoots you hoped for and income you counted on would no longer be happening. So now I finish a shoot on May 16 in Chambersburg, PA and can be just about anywhere between there and Rhode Island for the few days after that. I can be everywhere and nowhere. This will be my only trip on the east coast in 2010 with my car, so it seems a shame to miss out on shooting with photographers far from the limits of major cities. If I do not line up shoots, I will find somewhere in nature to explore and sit in peace.
Today I had a day off in NYC. I planned it this way to give me a chance to rest before what I thought was to be a crazy weekend and following few days. I still have an ambitious weekend with a workshop in NYC and one in PA the next day. I met up with a friend from graduate school and enjoyed a wonderful Spanish meal of pork stew and fried plantains. We also met up with one of my childhood friends and went to the MOMA to view all the work, but especially the Marina Abramovic exhibit. An exhibit with a collection of about fifty works and performance pieces. Being in the city these past couple of weeks I kept hearing the hype about this show, and was not disappointed. As an art model, I was not shocked by any of her performances, but witnessed many things which would have left a sheltered person staring or recoiling in horror. There was a narrow passageway with nude man and woman on each side, which one could walk through if they chose. The tightness of this passage was surprising, and I wondered what it would be like to be the models standing there, with so many people squeezing their way through as carefully as possible. The artist was present in the longest live performance piece. She sat on a chair, with another chair facing her. Museum guests could sign up for slots and sit across from her for as long as they chose to, sitting and staring silently in stillness at the artist. Photos from this showed that some participants were moved to tears from this experience. I consider seated poses for art classes to be much like paid meditation - while unable to talk or move, and with limited stimuli around as distraction, a person can enter their own head and explore to pass their time. A sense of quiet is sometimes very possible. To me, having not experienced this artist's gaze, I feel the tears could be from this inner silence.
It has been about 6 weeks since I have figure modeled for a group of painters. Too long has passed.
Photo by Erwin Sitar of New York.