The Museum of Modern Love

The Museum of Modern Love

by Heather Rose

Paperback

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Overview


An Amazon Editors’ Best Book of December 2018

“Art will wake you up. Art will break your heart. There will be glorious days. If you want eternity you must be fearless.” —from The Museum of Modern Love


Arky Levin has reached a dead end. Unexpectedly separated from his wife, he suddenly has the space he needs to work composing film scores—but none of the peace of mind he needs to create. As he wanders the city, guilty and restless, it’s almost by chance that he stumbles upon an exhibition that will change his life. 

The installation the fictional Arky discovers—which is based on a real piece of performance art that took place in 2010—is inexplicably powerful. Visitors to the Museum of Modern Art sit across a table from the performance artist Marina Abramović, for as short or long a period as they choose. Although some go in skeptical, almost all leave moved. And the participants are not the only ones to find themselves changed by this unusual experience: Arky finds himself drawn to the exhibit. He returns day after day to watch other people sit with Abramović—and as he does, he begins to understand what might be missing in his life and what he must do.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616208523
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 11/27/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 121,620
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author


Heather Rose was born in Australia in 1964. Her novels have been shortlisted or have won awards for literary fiction, crime fiction, and children’s fantasy. In 2017, The Museum of Modern Love, her seventh novel, won the Christina Stead Prize and the Stella Prize. It is her first novel for adults to be published in the United States. She lives by the sea on the island of Tasmania.

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The Museum of Modern Love 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Writing:5 Characters: 4.5 Plot: 4 A powerful and poignant novel about the transformational impact of Marina Abramović’s The Artist is Present on those who witness it during the 75 days of performance at MOMA. Abramović’s sits in silence in a large room furnished only with a table and two chairs. Without speaking, she gazes into the eyes of those who choose to sit across from her. From museum opening until closing, Marina does not speak, move, eat, drink, or go to the bathroom. Expecting only modest participation, by the end of the 75 days people are lining up the night before to get a chance at participating. By the end, over 1500 people had sat and over 500,000 had observed either in person or online. The book delves into the internal experiences of those who participate — either by sitting or by observing. The reflections on art, life, and meaning that emerge from the beings brought together by this piece are incredible, with fresh insights on every page. Abramović says her pieces are “establishing an energy dialog” and that she is “only interested in art that can change the ideology of society.” Some fascinating background on Abramović’s personal history and other pieces are included — I was half way through the book before I realized that this was a real artist and a real piece. Heather Rose has not fictionalized any real people or events but has instead built a story around the deep and transformative impact the piece had on those who bore witness. In some cases we get whole storylines, in others simply passing comments. It was brilliantly done. Some of the longer storylines follow Arky Levin — a composer of film scores whose beloved wife is sinking into what may be the last stages of a long-term, eventually fatal, genetic condition; Jane Miller, a 54-year old middle school art teacher from the South who is grieving her recently deceased husband; Brittika Van Der Sar, a pink-haired Asian adoptee from the Netherlands writing her PhD on Abramović; and Healayas Breen, a tall and gorgeous media personality. It brought me to tears many times — not through drama but because of the nakedness of the human experience portrayed as the art “captures moments at the heart of life.”