I am cycling across Hyde Park. England is in bloom but is out of the World Cup. Not surprisingly the sun isn’t shining. I am on my way to buy coffee beans at the best coffee shop in the world Higgins of Duke Street. Passing the Serpentine Gallery I notice a group in black who look like they are some rather second rate Sunni militia. It turns out they are art students. And this is Marina Abramovic 512 hours of performance ar t. Never heard of it. Can anyone come in. Sure just take your watch off. This I do.
A young man in black takes my hand and we go into the gallery. There are a lot of people sitting at desks putting beads onto a piece of paper. Or maybe they are counting grains of rice.Round the room there are many facing the blank wall some wearing head phones. The young man (not my type)keeps my hand and takes me to a space by a wall. It is white. He tells me to concentrate on my breathing. OK, In out, Oxygen in , CO2 out, I am concentrating. He still has my hand.
I ask how long does this go on. As long as you want. He releases my hand. And rubs my neck. I’m all for gay marriage but this has gone too far. And boring. Now I see why no watches. I am not made for this kind of thing. I walk out. I have been in the place ten minutes. On the way out one of the artist militia says did I try various disciplines,. No its not for me, a bit slow. He smiles the smile of a disciple who meets an unbeliever.
I look up Marina on the web. She does a diary of ever y day at the Serpentine Gallery. Yesterday she said to the camera forty times “only in stillness can we recognise movement.”. She has been at the performance art caper for decades. It used to be called showing off. She used to stab herself, play with fire,take drungs. Now its just whispering clichés. Apparently when this six week Serpentine show opened there were queues hoping to take part. It is being filmed Not the day I went,though it was pretty full. I note that a coffee maker (Illy)is the shows sponsor, that makes sense.I know we are living too long but this is ridiculous.