Elton John AIDS Benefit/Marina Abramović Institute at UNTITLED
The high priestess of multidisciplinary, contemporary art was hugging fans, friends and hands at the unveiling of her special edition photograph, with sales benefitting the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
The scene was lively but controlled as VIPs trolled through a series of 90 international exhibitors from Costa Rica, Great Britain, Canada, Germany and the US (among others) along with special booths from publications including Cabinet and Art Fag City.
Flashing a bright pink card (along with an exclusive invite) permitted passage into the bright white pavilion. Most of the spectators herded towards a bright pink corner wall setup: a simple, meditative photograph of Abramović hung opposite a message describing the purpose and process of the image. In it, she sits before the camera with her eyes closed as if in silent prayer or reflection, radiating an enviable stillness. The woman, herself, would tenderly cup the hands of eager admirers wanting their own Instagram-worthy moment, talk to them briefly or laugh with them about the icy temperature of the marquee against the tropical weather just yards away.
The fair, itself, is a host of video works, sculpture, painting, and installations that physically meld into the tent's construction. Miami-based performance duo The TM Sisters provided a chuckle as they dragged a bedazzled rapper on a dolly through the puzzled crowd.
But no one was confused about the success of the fair's exclusive opening: success being the operative word.
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