BLT: Books & Lunch on Tuesdays

BLT meets on the second Tuesday of each month at noon. Bring your lunch and a healthy appetite for good discussion.

Tuesday, February 11th
The Museum of Modern Love

by Heather Rose

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  A "strange hybrid of fact and fiction" is what Australian writer Rose calls this deeply involving novel inspired by famed performance artist Marina Abramovic's The Artist Is Present--a now-legendary 2010 work at New York's Museum of Modern Art during which she sat in rigorous stillness for 75 long days, facing 1,545 people who, one-by-one, sat across from her in eye-to-eye communion. An intriguing cast of characters are drawn to and mesmerized by this silent ritual, primary among them Arky Levin. A successful film composer, he is now engulfed by guilt and anxiety as his wife, a renowned architect, struggles with a debilitating blood disease in a nursing home. Other regular attendees include a recently widowed, friendly, middle-school art teacher from Georgia; a Japanese-Dutch PhD candidate with "neon-pink hair, red lips, purple contacts"; a strikingly beautiful black, Muslim art critic; the photographer chronicling every sitting; and the ghost of Abramovic's Serbian war-hero mother. Each offers an illuminating perspective on the proceedings, adding to the mystery and power of Abramovic's life and performance, and engendering profound questions about the divide between artist and art, artist and audience, self and creativity, love and spirit. Rose's emotionally rich and thought-provoking homage and inquiry should prompt readers to seek out Abramovic's dramatic memoir, Walk through Walls (2016). - Booklist (starred review)

NPR Book Review for The Museum of Modern Love



Where: Howe Library
Room: Rotary Room
Time: 12:00 - 1:00