My cool friends who have passes to the gallery took me down there on the weekend, and I had it in my head I was going to drag them to see this while we were there. The docent we asked to direct us didn't know about it and she wasn't sure where the Marvin Gelber Gallery was, for that matter. It was like we were going to a secret part of the AGO. Rad.
I don't think I'm spoiling anything by telling you that it's a really short video, running in a loop, that just shows a couple pointing an arrow at one partner. Don't be horrified, archers. Or at least, be horrified knowing you're meant to be. Marina Abramovic seems to have made her name by doing dangerous things, like taking pills that paralyzed her and gave her seizures, or playing the Russian Game, i.e. stabbing between her fingers, until she'd cut herself 20 times. This work is a collaboration with the artist, Ulay, with whom she'd also done a piece where their mouths were connected and they breathed in each other's exhales till they both passed out from lack of oxygen. Of course people don't and shouldn't do this stuff in real life.
If it seems a little um, artsy, don't be scared off. I'm pretty much a philistine when it comes to that stuff but when I actually saw it, it really got an interesting and unexpectedly sexual story across and used our favourite toys as a really effective symbol of tension and keeping control. I'll tell you: we watched it once in silence. The second time, we interjected with little comments. The third time, we were in fits of giggles. But honestly, it was really fascinating and with a sport that's so compelling as a storytelling device, this adds a whole new dimension to say, something like the William Tell story.
If you go see it, I'd be really interested to hear if you feel like you relate to it in a particular way because you're into archery. Comments, please!