Monday, January 28, 2013

Marina Abramovic- Mirror Exercise

Time spent: 1 hour, from 10:04 a.m. to 11:04 a.m. on Sunday, January 27, 2013

This exercise was quite difficult to complete, in the sense that it is abnormal/out of the ordinary for most people to sit for an hour motionless—which I believe was the purpose of the exercise: it wasn’t really to look at yourself for an hour but to remain motionless for an hour in order to get in touch with inner reflections…to somehow get out of your thoughts but into your mind simultaneously. I did the exercise first thing after waking up, in a state of refreshment yet also vulnerability, in order to start my day on an atypical note. At first I did the usual things one does in front of the mirror: I evaluated the color of my skin and how it changed when the halogen light bulbs continued to brighten; noticed the sleepiness in my eyes; questioned why to me my nose appears smaller on some days rather than others; noted how the right edge of my mouth lays higher than the left side, and that the white of my right eye appeared brighter that the white of my left;  observed the crease that bisects my neck and the way my hair sprouts from my hairline. After a few minutes though I was not staring at myself exactly, but instead was staring through myself, not really looking at anything at all but simply thinking and being, while remaining motionless—it was like an open-eyed meditation. Again, my yoga practices assisted me in this exercise; I found it easier to remain motionless when I took deep inhales and exhales. Occasionally I closed my eyes and occasionally I adjusted my positioning on the stool I was perched on. As for my thoughts, I thought mostly about the long and short-term tasks I have at hand…the possibility of moving from the house I live in sometime soon, the looming pressure of putting up an exhibition in about a month’s time…etc. If I could have done one thing differently, I would have set an alarm on my phone, because once I had started the exercise, I really had to suppress the temptation to check my phone to see how much time had passed—it was a practice in resistance as well. I checked my phone when about 40 minutes had gone by, which interrupted my concentration and motionlessness, but I still felt a sense of accomplishment for mot checking my phone any sooner than this.

During this exercise, the song I’m Looking Through You by The Beatles became stuck in my head.

Good morning, time to look at yourself!

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