I believe one of the most powerful characters I picked for the essay and the artist that shows the greatest dichotomy, both within her performances and in relation to her fellow humans, is by far Marina Abramovic. Her performances are all shocking (quite predictable) not just because of the nature of the performance, but rather because of the distance between Marina’s expression and looks, those of a calm, kind, loving woman that suddenly puts herself in situations that totally deny those characteristics.
Contrast, in this case, is something carefully crafted, something particular to performing arts in general. I believe an artist can choose between looking for natural arising dichotomies or, as a ubiquitous god of his art, he can opportunistically create them.
The greatest lesson Marina gives is not about herself, it is about the people watching her. The final aim of her performances is to extract reactions and to change the perceptions of those who are watching her. Her “staring” performances are famous and illustrate very good this idea. The artist is the piece of art itself, and the viewer has to admire it or criticise it. After the experience, he is changed. But in what way? I have seen both shy individuals and joyful ones, as if some were introverts and others extroverts.
This observation may be useful for the FMP and I believe I want to obtain the exact same thing as Marina. Specifically, to put viewers in front of something that cahllenges them and obtain powerful reaction. Perhaps to put them in front of themselves. I am not sure yet but I strongly believe this is the seed of a powerful idea.