Few museums showcase performance art and fewer still collect it. Deborah Vankin looks at the challenges - and the changing perceptions - around institutions acquiring intangible installations.
'On a Saturday afternoon, visitors to the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A. are waiting up to 45 minutes to see Chinese artist Xu Zhen’s living sculptures in the museum’s north gallery. Under the milky lights and awash in the room’s palette of stark white, black and gray tones, curious onlookers ogle the four human figures, all in baggy streetwear, who remain stock-still in impossible, gravity-defying positions.
The work is performance art, titled “In Just a Blink of an Eye.” As it forces viewers to question the laws of physics, it also addresses states of limbo, the fluidity of time and the fragility of the human condition. It will be on view Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 1, at which point …
Well, that’s where the questions begin.
When “In Just a Blink of an Eye” closes, MOCA — which recently acquired the work for its permanent collection — can’t place this art in storage, as it would a sculpture or painting.' ... Keep reading on the Los Angeles Times