Marina Abramović, Rhythm 0, 1974
To test the limits of the relationship between performer and audience, Abramović developed one of her most challenging (and best-known) performances. She assigned a passive role to herself, with the public being the force which would act on her.
Abramović had placed upon a table 72 objects that people were allowed to use (a sign informed them) in any way that they chose. Some of these were objects that could give pleasure, while others could be wielded to inflict pain, or to harm her. Among them were a rose, a feather, honey, a whip, scissors, a scalpel, a gun and a single bullet. For six hours the artist allowed the audience members to manipulate her body and actions.
Initially, members of the audience reacted with caution and modesty, but as time passed (and the artist remained impassive) people began to act more aggressively. As Abramović described it later:
“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.
“She is engrossed by the conceptual and philosophical questions raised by the medium that relate to truth, imagination, memory and history.
(…) as a child she could not speak. This silence was possibly caused by a condition called eidetic memory (photographic memory). Seers first spoke at the age of eight when she saw a photograph of herself, asking: ‘Is that me?’ Her eidetic memory faded with the onset of language. This traumatic loss of her memory led her to ‘become’ a camera; she started forming images by inserting pieces of light-sensitive paper into her mouth and using her lips as the aperture and shutter. This passive process of ‘ingesting’ the world occupied her for many years, she gave up her life as a camera to ‘become’ a projector emitting images in an act of extramission.”
Nicolas Bourriaud on Lindsay Seers @Tate
Music video for OR, taken from Kangding Ray’s latest album.
just downloaded and inhaled deeply. leaves me speechless.
with thanks to dear DorianFuk
In 1936, Salvador DalÍ collaborated with fellow surrealist Sheila Legge to stage a surrealist happening in Trafalgar Square. Legge appeared as The Phantom of Sex Appeal dressed in a long white satin dress, her face completely obscured by paper roses and ladybirds. Photographs of this event showing pigeons perching on the Phantom’s arms have become an iconic surrealist image.
Body Sign Action,Frankfurt 1970
by Valie Export
[one of the images from this performance is circulating on tumblr with no caption or credit, I can’t even locate where i saw it….I find that very annoying and disrespectful esp. considering the fact that ‘artist is still present’…]
An interesting lot of Poloroid photographs circa 1984. All I have been able to find out about the woman’s life is that her name appears to be Cathy. These images are shot by one other person who may have lived with her say a girlfriend or a lover, I cannot be sure. there are one or two portraits that suggest strong friendship over coupling. The images are reminiscent of the relationship between Cookie (sp) Mueller and Nan Goldin for which the latter published under Ballad of Sexual Dependency. Unfortunelt Cokie (sp) had an overdose not long after. These images express a very interesting take on personal performance and instant gratitification with Polaroid film. The gestures are loose and full of life as opposed to being clausteraphobically staged to the point of artifice. “Cathy” seems to take pleasure out of the experience and its perhaps best not to read too much into these images, but they do entertain a somehow bixarre association with identity, performance, and the poloroid instant camera.
one more from extra-ORDINARY-LIGHT
Source: Flickr / ordinary-light