Like the dedicated newshound/voyeur I have become, last week I returned to Marco Anelli’s photo stream of Marina Abramovic’s subjects for a second time. Overall, Anelli’s brilliant capture of universal humanism is the equal of Rineke Dijkstra and Y.Z. Kami. Let’s get the startists and celebrities, very few as a percentage of participants, out of the way: Terence Koh, Orly Genger, Isabella Rossellini, Rosalee Goldberg, Flavin Judd, Colette and Andres Serrano. Perspicaciously, Marina’s dealer, Sean Kelly, made a few additional house calls, as did Chrissie Iles of the Whitney, sporting each time the benign smile of curatorial approval.
As the show continued, visitors to Marina avoided props and provocations in favor of pure communion. Among the few adornments were a "Bellevue Mortuary" baseball cap, a pink spot painted on the nose, a pink mortarboard and a burka. Undeniably, Marina turned out to be a bigger babe magnet than Justin Timberlake, especially if your definition of "babe" is inner beauty blossoming on the surface of the face: everyone who arrived became a babe.
Finally, it must be noted that most art critics, including Paddy Johnson, Lee Rosenbaum, Holland Cotter and my colleague Jerry Saltz, had various quibbles with the arc and presentation (and, let’s face it, popularity) of the Abramovic Lonely Hearts Club Band and its attendant nudesicals. They reminded me of my father sarcastically sporting a Beatles wig at a cocktail party in 1964 when the Fab Four had the top ten hits on the charts simultaneously. You can’t push the river, folks, especially when it is glistening with souls that the riverkeeper, Marina, exhausts herself in the tending thereof.
CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).