Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present inspires local theatre student
By Fabiola Carletti
Originally published by the Toronto Star
Allison Leadley, 25, dragged two folding chairs to a busy Toronto intersection — then sat down, swallowed her terror, and waited.
The often-shy university student was stationed at the corner of Spadina Ave. and Queen St. W., in early March. The plan was to carve a space for intimacy in a notoriously uninviting city.
Leadley, a Halifax native who normally works backstage, had committed to nearly eight hours of sitting without eating, drinking or speaking at four different intersections. Her inspiration came from the prolific performance artist Marina Abramovic, who had done the same at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
“At first people were going out of their way not to notice me,” said Leadley, a first-year PhD student of theatre and performance at the University of Toronto.
“I started to worry that no one would sit down and that this was going to be a long and really lonely day.”