Friday, 11 March 2016

Marina Abramovic - Rhythm 0, 1974

Visual artist Marina Abramovic is possibly one of the most famous performance artist. Her work is seen online and my first encounter with her was when I saw a video for a piece called 'The Artist Is Present' this piece consisted of Marina sat in a room where she allowed people to come and sit opposite her.

After some time a man came and sat opposite. The man was her former lover who she had not seen in 22 years. She could not help but break her performance as she shed a tear and held his hand.

After speaking to David Moore he had mentioned her again so I decided to read a bit more about her work. That was when I came across this piece and was deeply shocked.

Abramovic had 72 objects put on a table, from a rose, wine, a scalpel and a gun with one single bullet. She gave the instruction 'I am an object' and 'use on me as desired.

At first it started off quite timid and people were not taking things too far but the more people realised that she was not reacting and that they could literally do anything to her the more extreme they took it.
One person cut her neck and drank her blood, another person loaded the gun and pointed it to her neck. She was carried and tied. 

At the end of her performance when she started to move and was no longer an object and returned back to being a human, everyone ran away. They could not face her once there was a chance she could fight back.

This piece really shocked me and it was something totally new for me to come across. I have never seen anything like it before. Mainly because performance pieces are very new to me and I haven't looked into it properly before but also because it was just so out there and also so awful as it goes on. Its shocking to realise what people will actually do when there are no rules. It reminds me of the film The Purge where it shows a world with no laws for one night and the mayhem it causes. The fact that she allows this to happen to her is just..either bizarre or brave I'm not quite sure which one. 

Also the way people ran as soon as she stopped being an 'object' because they couldn't face the confrontation is just so typical of humans. I don't have much faith in humanity as it is but this just validates that for me.

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