Rhythm 0 was a performance art by Marina Abramovic in Studio Morra, Naples, in 1974. During the 6-hour-long act, Marina stood still while the audience was invited to do her whatever they wished, using one of the 72 objects she had placed on a table.
Since the beginning of her career, Marina Abramovic` has developed the use of performance as a visual art form. Her body has been her subject and medium to represent her work.
Rhythm 0 is one of the Marina’s most important works, it was her last work in the series of individual body art performance pieces that began with Rhythm 1, and according to her, it represents, the conclusions of her research on the body when consciousness and unconsciousness.
In Rhythm 10, Marina used a collection of twenty knives to stab repeatedly at a piece of paper between her fingers. Each time she cut herself, she changed knives, until she had used all the knives.
Marina and the visitors stood in the same space, making it clear that the visitors were part of the work. According to Marina, the purpose of the work was to find out how far the public would go: “What is the public about and what are they going to do in this kind of situation?”
“There are 72 objects on the table that one can use on me as desired.
I am the object.
During this period I take full responsibility.”
The 72 objects included a rose, perfume, feather, honey, a metal bar, bread, grapes, wine, scissors, a scalpel, nails, a metal bar, and a gun loaded with bullet.
The list of props in the work is as follows:
Gun, bullet, blue ,paintcomb, bell, whip, lipstick, pocket knife, fork, perfume, spoon, cotton, flowers, matches, rose, candle, mirror, drinking glass, Polaroid camera, feather, chains, nails, needle, safety pin, hairpin, brush, bandage, red paint, white paint, scissors, pen, book, sheet of white paper, kitchen knife, hammer, saw, piece of wood, ax, stick, bone of lamb, newspaper, bread, wine, honey, salt, sugar, soap, cake, metal spear, box of razor blades, dish, flute, Band-Aid, alcohol, medal, coat, shoes, chair, leather strings, yarn, wire, sulfur, grapes, olive oil, water, hat, metal pipe, rosemary branch, scarf, handkerchief, scalpel, apple.
For the purpose of the performance, the gun has been deactivated, and, as well as other dangerous items, secured to the table.
Thoma McEville, an art critic who was present there, wrote the experience:
It began tamely. Someone turned her around. Someone thrust her arms into the air. Someone touched her somewhat intimately. The Neapolitan night began to heat up. In the third hour, all her clothes were cut from her with razor blades. In the fourth hour, the same blades began to explore her skin. Her throat was slashed, so someone could suck her blood. Various minor sexual assaults were carried out on her body. She was so committed to the piece that she would not have resisted rape or murder. Faced with her abdication of will, with its implied collapse of human psychology, a protective group began to define itself in the audience. When a loaded gun was thrust to Marina’s head and her own finger was being worked around the trigger, a fight broke out between the audience factions.
“How far the public can go, if the artist doesn’t do anything”
When the gallery announced that the act was over and Marina began to move again, the audience left out of fear, unable to face her as a person.
In her own words, “What I learned was that… if you leave it up to the audience, they can kill you… I feel really violated: they cut up my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed a gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the audience. Everyone ran away, to escape an actual confrontation.”
Now you’ve read about Marina’s art rhythm 0, read about the Gulabi Gang, who works for justice, justice for abused and oppressed women