Artist to sit naked on a toilet for two days to protest 'bulls**t' art world

Lisa Levy is directly responding to Marina Abramovic's The Artist is Present

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The Independent Culture

When you decide the art world is simply too ridiculous to handle, there’s only one thing for it: sit on a toilet in your birthday suit for two days to protest this “bulls**t”.

That’s exactly the lengths comedian, artist and psychotherapist Lisa Levy is going to after growing increasingly fed up with what she sees as “egoic pretense” in her industry. 

Protest piece The Artist is Humbly Present will take place on 30 and 31 January from 1-6pm at Christopher Stout Gallery in New York. Levy will be fully starkers, immobile and silent. Rumour has it she is bringing a heater to keep warm.

The free durational performance is a direct response to Marina Abramović’s The Artist is Present at Moma in 2010, which Levy considers a “symbol of contemporary art world pretense”.

Visitors will be able to sit on another toilet opposite her, as they did on a chair in Abramovic’s original, and react to the performance however they wish. Touching Levy in any way is banned.

“Ego and pretense has seriously f**ked with the quality of work being made in the art world,” she says on her Facebook page. “I’m also tired of the bulls**t trendy art dialogue about how the art world is driven by rich people who want shiny work and don’t care about meaning as well. But mostly I think it will be weirdly fun to be naked in public.”

Marina Abramovic performs The Artist is Present at Moma in 2010

Many artists have been turning to nudity to make statements recently, from Milo Moire standing defiantly naked in the streets after the Cologne sex attacks to Mathilde Grafstrom’s banned exhibition combating negative self-image in Copenhagen.

Next time you want to make a point, you know what to do.