Performance artist Marina Abramovic is well-known for her shocking works of art. However, in one six-hour performance, she allowed strangers to do whatever they wished with her to show the world the truth behind human nature.
Unfortunately, the results were quite dark. At the beginning of the performance, she placed 72 objects on the table and allowed the viewers to use them on her. During this time, she agreed to be completely passive to what onlookers decided to do and turned herself into an object to be used as anyone wished.
Included amongst the objects on the table were a rose, a feather, grapes, honey, a condom, a whip, a scalpel, a gun and a single bullet. What do you think happened?
At first, during the performance, Abramovic explains in an interview that it was innocent. People would play with her, feed her, tickle her, etc. However, as it continued, it became “six hours of real horror,” in which people tore at her clothes, pierced her skin with a rose stem, cut her with a razor blade and even drank her blood. They asked her to strip down, laid her down on the table, and acted as though they would stab her. As it continued to escalate, a bullet was placed in the gun and Abramovic was asked to hold the gun to her own head.
Another person tried to have sex with her until someone else stopped him.
Once the time period was over, the owner of the gallery came in and kicked everyone out. She then began to walk towards her audience in raw form, with tears pouring, and blood dripping, bruised both inside and out, and the crowd ran out of the room.
Of course, while they could toy with her if she was passive, once she became human to them, they couldn’t face what they had done. While Abramovic walked away with her life in tact, if you take a moment to glance at the photographs, she looks quite haunted during the experience, making you wonder exactly what type of impact the performance had on her as a person. Honestly, for me personally, just knowing this has changed me.