Video of the Day: Performing vs. Acting


Actor James Franco is taking his campaign to Be Taken Seriously to the next level in this MoMA video matching him with artist Marina Abramović and Klaus Biesenbach, chief curator of MoMA cousin P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. On the occasion of Abramović’s retrospective at the museum, The Artist Is Present, the three sit down for a chat comparing performance art to acting, including the danger of losing oneself in a character and the value of self-expression as a freedom from the strictures of daily life. (And on a sidenote: just look at Marina Abramović’s glowing skin. The woman is 63! What the eff is her secret? Success? Close proximity to Daniel Desario?) Video after the jump.

Some choice excerpts:

Biesenbach addresses Franco and Abramović, respectively: “You are a very performance-driven actor, and you are a very theatrical performer.”

Abramović: “There is no distance in performance art.”

Biesenbach: “The performers [in the exhibition] will be present as if they were a sculpture.”

Abramović: “The [performance] is as new for me as for the audience watching it.”

Biesenbach: “We’re a bit nervous and extremely curious, because it’s an experiment.”

As for Franco? He mostly nods and grins, though to be fair, he seems to grasp the point behind Abramović’s machinations and can converse in artspeak.

Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present is on view at MoMA until May 31, 2010.

Bonus link: Not surprisingly, MoMA’s got some stellar stuff on their YouTube channel; check the entire feed here.