15/11/2011 6:18 PM

Make Mine a MoCA: MOCA Gala 2011

This was taking ‘interesting’ table decorations to a whole new level. Artist Marina Abramovic maybe  known for staging mildly titillating displays of nudity as performance art but once guests at the Museum of Contemporary Art fundraiser in Los Angeles sat down for dinner they realised things were going to be a little different this time. Live actors were cleverly concealed underneath the tables – with their heads serving as the centrepieces. Now to have ones table setting set up in a disturbing stare down with your guests would definitely appear to be one way of keeping their attention. Perhaps the guests, who included Gwen Stefani, Kirsten Dunst and Tilda Swinton, shouldn’t have been surprised. After all wasn’t this the woman who posed for the cover of Visionaire’s 60th issue breastfeeding Riccardo Tisci? Well who doesn’t love a bit of Givenchy. It was also last year that Abramovic unleashed her ‘The Artist is Present’ onto an otherwise noisy New York. Yes this was a 736-hour, 30 minute, silent, unmoving piece where she sat out life in the entrance hall of MoMA while visitors would take turns in sitting with her. It even spawned its own facebook support group where groupies could share their passion for ‘Sitting with Marina.’ But staring at this centrepiece wasn’t the only treat in store for the MoCA diners; they also had the joy of jostling near to the large, round tables replete with nude young women of varying desirability piled with skeletons on top of them. Who knows how many men got into trouble with their dates for chatting up a table display, surely a first, even for those managing the complexities of Los Angelean social life. It was all amusing enough and after Debbie Harry had sung it was time for pudding. Of course, this was pudding in the shape of Debbie and Marina and brought out ceremoniously by a crew of bare-chested buff young men only to be cut up into little pieces which were then prompty devoured by the likes of California Governor Jerry Brown, LA  Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Dita Von Teese, Nicolas Berggruen, assorted Hollywood movers and shakers as well as rich patrons, art hustlers of various ranks and their hangers on. You get the picture. And who got the juiciest slice of Debbie Harry? Our bet is that it was LA’s uber-philanthropist, Eli Broad. And with the dinner raising $2.5million maybe eyeballing  a dining table’s centrepiece is set to be the ‘dernier cri.’

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

Photo Credit:

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Todd Williamson/WireImage/Getty Images