Kendall Jenner reenacted popular performance art pieces like her whole life isn’t one

There are few mediums of expression in the art world less understood to the wider public than performance art. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on your interpretation) for the proliferation of art, the multi-millionaire model and reality star Kendall Jenner explored performance art in W Magazine in the latest edition celebrating its 10th anniversary of the art issue. Both Jenner and fellow model Gigi Hadid revisited classic performance art pieces in a series of short videos for the magazine that at one point featured Jenner sitting stoically in a gown while recreating Yoko Ono’s “Cut Piece,” the piece in which Ono allowed audience members to gradually cut off her clothes at their will as a reflection on power dynamics between audience and performers (particularly female performers).

The key difference in Jenner’s recreation besides intention, decades of context, and actual duration, is the immediate tongue-in-cheek moment in which her assistant yells, “No, that’s a $10,000 dress!” The series of short odes to performance art works because it doesn’t take itself seriously, but it’s still mildly cringe-inducing watching 19 year olds from the fashion world play with performance art when there are so many struggling artists in that medium who could desperately use the money and publicity.

Then again, it makes more practical sense for W Magazine to cast Jenner and Hadid as the paint-sprayed women revisiting Yves Klein, given the fact they were already featured in the Placebo Pet Project spread, in which both models were transformed into terrifying humanoid pets without knees.

The videos are in themselves harmless and unassuming, but it’s a personal pet peeve when under-appreciated creative areas (performance art in this case) are only acknowledged in temporary moments of fashion and immediately outsourced to already wealthy and iconic cultural figures (in this case Jenner and Hadid). Obviously considering it’s the 10th anniversary of the magazine’s art issue, W Magazine has featured many artists across various mediums, so this may not be the cross to bear, or the bullet to Chris Burden.

I have to admit, my stodginess subsided a bit after watching the video of Jenner and Hadid recreating Marina Abromavic and Ulay’s “AAA-AAA,” a performance from 1977 in which Abramovic and her ex-fiance, Ulay, engaged in a durational screaming match. The reimagining from for W Magazine included the young women pausing mid-scream to asses their makeup, it’s funny in its self-awareness, but I still ultimately want to die when two 20-year-old supermodels make jokes about wrinkles.

You can also check out both young women in the bizarre Placebo Pets spread featured in W Magazine.