Marina Abramovic - Rhythm 0 (1974)
72 objects (including a gun and a bullet) were laid out on a table for the spectators to use on the artist in any way they chose to use them.
“Abramovic is no stranger to giving much of herself to her work, to her spectators and to performance art as a whole, sometimes even putting her body in extreme danger.”
In the course of the performance, Abramovic’s shirt was ripped off and a rose stuck into her chest by its thorns. Despite a signed document releasing the public of any accountability in the event of injury, the performance was cut short when police were called because a loaded gun was aimed at her head.
“The experience I learned was that…if you leave the decision to the public, you can be killed… I felt really violated; they cut my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the public. Everyone ran away, escaping an actual confrontation.” —M. A.