I love this specifically because it challenges the (very common) assertion that rap isn’t art. And not that I think this is Jay’s best track, or that it’s a particularly good album, or even that Jay Z is the guy you’d go to if you wanted to prove that hip hop is an art form.
But there’s something beautiful about seeing one of the most successful artists on the planet turn a boastful track about referencing one’s art collection into a performance art piece that ends up including him going nose to nose with Marina Abramovic mid verse.
“The Kiss was given to the MoMA as a donation without asking for permission. I entered the museum as a regular visitor and gave an intense French kiss to the wall. Next to the invisible kiss I then fixed a fake label, which simulated the style of a regular MoMA caption.”
(born Lee Seung-Hee, 1970, Korea) in her Projects, in which she spent several weeks assimilating into a cultural group and has someone take her photo within the group. Her identities in these projects traverses age, race, and social classes.
pictured here: The Ohio Project, The Stripper Project, The Lesbian Project, The Tourist Project, The Hispanic Project, The Hip Hop Project.
Hoyun Sun’s installation for her participatory performance at Chicago Artists’ Coalition gallery for HATCH Projects: VALUE: ASSIGNED, TRANSPOSED AND IMAGINED. #chicago #art #performanceart (at Chicago Artists’ Coalition)
Abramovic dedicated ‘The Hero’ to her father, who was a soldier in World War II. Her mother was helping wounded soldiers at the front line, but at a certain moment got typhus in the middle of a battle. As the story goes, she was lying unconscious in the snow among the wounded soldiers, while Abramovic’s father was fighting the enemy with his division, retreating towards the forest where the mother was lying. Passing her on a white horse, the father saw her hair protrude from the top of the blanket. Abramovic’s mother had beautiful hair, so he stopped, dismounted his horse, and lifted the blanket. When he saw her, he immediately and without any words carried her away on his horse to unoccupied territory and left her in a village with a peasant family. Through the fog of the fever she saw his face. She stayed with the peasant family for one month while she was recovering and then she went back to the front line. One year later the wounded soldiers were coming into the improvised hospital where Abramovic’s mother was working. She recognized among them, bleeding heavily on a stretcher, Abramovic’s father. She found out that he was the same blood group as her, gave her blood for a transfusion and saved his life. Marina Abramovic was born one year later. She said about the performance: ‘After my father’s death I decided to make this work. I am sitting motionless on the white horse with a white flag blowing in the wind. I stay there for an indefinite time. The female voice is singing, from her memory, the Yugoslavian national anthem from the time of Tito. The video image is black and white because I wanted to emphasize the past and memory.’