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performance

Marina Abramovic

SITTING SQUARELY BETWEEN Jack Nicholson’s five and Bartók’s ten, Marina Abramovic’s Seven Easy Pieces occasioned a week of nightly pilgrimages to New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum last November. There she presented a different performance each evening, beginning at 5 PM and culminating at midnight. Yet the performances, save for the final two, weren’t actually her own—at least, not in the conventional sense. Rather, the artist had chosen five works from the 1960s and ’70s that she deemed pivotal (and for which she pointedly obtained permissions and agreed to pay copyright fees). These were slated for “reenactment,” as the accompanying brochure put it, but the title of Abramovic’s program suggested something closer in spirit to musical covers than paint-by-numbers duplication.

The artist opted for an impressive roster of pieces by her peers Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci, Valie Export,

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