(from The New York Times, 1/24; via The Drudge Report; Photo: The New York Times.)

A performance artist has sued the Museum of Modern Art, saying that officials neglected to take corrective action after several visitors groped him during a nude performance for the 2010 retrospective “Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present.”

The allegations were submitted this week in New York Supreme Court, with the artist, John Bonafede, seeking compensation for emotional distress, career disruption, humiliation and other damages.

Mr. Bonafede had participated in one of Ms. Abramovic’s most famous works from the 1970s, “Imponderabilia,” which requires two nude performers to stand opposite each other in a slim doorway that visitors are encouraged to squeeze through to enter an adjoining gallery.

According to his lawsuit, Mr. Bonafede was sexually assaulted seven times by five museum visitors. He reported four of the individuals to MoMA security, which ejected them from the galleries, the lawsuit said; the fifth assault was directly observed by security.

Mr. Bonafede said in legal filings, however, that MoMA officials “turned a blind eye” to the assaults and created a hostile work environment where performers were expected to submit to the actions of unruly audience members. His lawsuit comes nearly 14 years after the exhibition; New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which gave people an additional window to file sexual misconduct claims, expired in November, but there was an agreement to extend this case.

“John believes that there should be edgy performance art like this in major institutions,” said his lawyer, Jordan Fletcher. “But his goal here is to make sure that performers are properly taken care of and that their safety is ensured.”

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