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Abramovic experienced people’s violent side when she stood still for 6 hours and allowed people do anything to her body

By Ashish Ranjan, 17 November 2017

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It is astonishing how people turn violent when given favorable circumstances. Marina Abramovic, a Yugoslav performance artist, who is also known as the "grandmother of performance art," did a daring act when she stood as a puppet in front of public for six hours and let people do whatever they wanted to.

#The famous “Rhythm 0” performance in 1974

The performance which is famously known as “Rhythm 0” was aimed at testing the relationship between performer and audience. But, it turned out to be a horrific experience for Abramovic as she felt raped.

In her own words, she explains that the performance showed them that how fast  a person can hurt you under favorable circumstances and it also showed that how easy it is to dehumanize a person who does not fight and does not want defend himself.

The performance which is famously known as Rhythm 0

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#Abramovic offered 72 objects on a table to be used on her body

During the performance which was conducted for six hours between 8 PM and 2 AM, Abramovic had placed 72 objects on a table and allowed people to use them on her body as desired. While some of the objects would give pleasure, other could be used to inflict pain. The objects included rose, feather, honey, a whip, olive oil, scissors, a scalpel, a blade, a gun and a single bullet.

People were allowed to use those stuffs on Abramovic's body. She wanted to test how aggressive a human can turn into when free from social consequences. To her dismay, at the end of the performance, her body was stripped and attacked from almost all corners.

Abramovic offered 72 objects on a table to be used on her body

Image Source: www.elitereaders.com

#Abramovic was undressed and groped

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Abramovic was undressed and groped. Her blouse was opened exposing her breasts.  There were acts of violence and sexual harassment. There were cuts on her neck made by audience members, and her clothes were cut off her body. A man used razor to make a cut on neck. Blades were used to make cut on her clothes and body.

This work reveals something terrible about humanity. It shows how fast a person can hurt you under favorable circumstances. It shows how easy it is to dehumanize a person who does not fight, who does not defend himself. It shows that if he provides the stage, the majority of ‘normal’ people, apparently can become truly violent,” said Abramovic.

Abramovic was undressed and groped

Image Source: www.elitereaders.com

# The performance started tamely but turned violent as time progressed

People did all sort of stuffs to Abramovic. It started tamely but as the time progressed it turned violent. It all began with offering rose and kisses. Some people made her sit down so that they could do whatever they want to. People also changed her position. Some people tried to attach few things to her. Some people touched her intimately.

Abramovic's art also represented the objectification of the female body, as she is almost motionless and looked like a puppet. It allowed the public to do whatever they wanted to and push the limits of what is acceptable in a society.

The performance started tamely but turned violent as time progressed

Image Source: www.elitereaders.com

#Abramovic says if you leave it up to the audience, they can kill you

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"What I learned was that ... if you leave it up to the audience, they can kill you. ... I felt really violated: they cut up 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 audience. Everyone ran away, to escape an actual confrontation," said Abramovic.

Abramovic was stunned at the end as the performance could also turn fatal for her. Apart from the sexual assaults on her body, people also pointed loaded gun towards her.

Abramovic says if you leave it up to the audience, they can kill you

Image Source: www.elitereaders.com

#Audience unable to face Abramovic when the performance was over

When the performance was over, Abramovic started to move towards the audience. The audience suddenly left that place. They felt they were unable to face her as a person.

At the end of the performance, Abramovic observed that people did not want any sort of confrontations. They shrugged off what they did throughout the last six hours. They didn’t want to be held responsible or judged for the act that they did on her body. She said that the audience wanted to forget how they loved hurting her during the performance.

Audience unable to face Abramovic when the performance was over

Image Source: www.elitereaders.com

 

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