The most brutal show lasted 6 hours! They cut, they smashed, they even put a gun to his head


Compiled by: Fazilet Şenol / – Having managed to become the most radical performance artist of the modern age, Marina Abramovic is a name seen by the authorities as a ‘living legend’ with her recent contributions to art history. The Serbian performance artist, who has made a show that terrified everyone many times throughout his life, is one of the most important representatives of the movement known as ‘body art’. Although she is remembered for the love she had with Ulay, a performance artist like herself, who passed away in 2020, Marina Abramovic, especially with her show called ‘Rhythm 0’ (Rhythm 0) has signed one of the most shocking performances in the history of art. Performing a reenactment at the Naples Art Gallery in the south of Italy to promote ‘Rhythm 0’, Abramovic’s aim was to change the roles of audience and actor. But things were not going to turn out as expected. At the end of about 6 hours, Abramovich would be subjected to such intense stress that his hair would turn white. This performance, which took place in 1974, continues to be remembered as the most brutal art show in history today.



Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic wanted to respond to the criticism that performance art is masochistic and sensational with her show ‘Rhythm O’. With this performance, he was thinking of completing the body-focused performance series by expanding the limits of strength and resistance. Abramovich has done amazing performances many times before. Reaching for the burning frame of a wooden star representing Yugoslavia in ‘Rhythm 5’, Abramovic lost consciousness as his oxygen supply was depleted in the fire and was brought back to life by the audience. The Serbian artist, who inserted a knife between the open fingers of one hand in ‘Rhythm 10’, did not stop until he cut himself with a knife. ‘Rhythm 0’ was much more advanced than all these terrifying performances.



Abramovic, who brought the ‘Rhythm 0’ show to life when the calendars showed the year 1974, He asked them to do whatever they wanted to him with one of the 72 objects of pain, pleasure and death that he placed on a long white table.. Abramovich gave the audience an endless freedom in how he should be treated. The audience might have wanted to kill him, but Abramovich had already accepted the worst possibility and said that he would not move a finger in the face of such a possibility. If Abramovich died after the performance, a message would appear: “If you give power to the audience, they can kill you.”

The objects of pain, pleasure, and death were: pistol, bullet, blue paint, comb, bell, whip, lipstick, penknife, fork, perfume, spoon, cotton, flowers, matches, rose, candle, mirror, water glass, polaroid camera, feather , chain, nail, pin, safety pin, hairpin, brush, bandage, red paint, white paint, scissors, pen, book, white paper, kitchen knife, hammer, saw, piece of wood, axe, stick, lamb bone, newspaper , bread, wine, honey, salt, sugar, soap, cake, metal skewers, a box of razors, bowls, flutes, plaster, alcohol, medals, coats, shoes, chairs, leather cords, thread, wire, sulfur, grapes, olive oil , water, hat, metal pipe, rosemary sprig, scarf, handkerchief, scalpel and apple.


Written instructions hung on the wall: Instructions. There are 72 objects on the table that can be used as desired on me. I am the object. During this time, I take full responsibility. 1974. Duration: 6 hours (20:00-02:00). Studio Morra, Naples.


Serbian artist Abramovic remained motionless for hours during his historic performance. In the first two hours of the show, which lasted for 6 hours in total, the participants first started watching it. At first, the participants treated him kindly. As the minutes passed, the color of the work slowly began to change. Those who tried to kiss and then undress the artist started dating. By the third hour, alarm bells were ringing for Marinovic, whose clothes were all smashed by sharp knives. The audience, almost enraged by Abramovic’s inaction, began to harm Abramovich’s body with the cutting tools they took from the white table. There were those who tried to put a rose in his throat and those who harassed him.


By the fourth hour, the knives were now pointing towards his flesh. Abramovich, who was in pain with a knife blow to his throat, was determined not to end the performance. Towards the end of the show, a big fight broke out in the gallery when one of the participants put a gun to Abramovich’s head. As a result of the fight that broke out with another participant’s desire to protect Abramovich, it was decided to end the show.

Abramovich began to act with tears in his eyes after 6 hours. The Serbian artist, who wanted to face the audience who hurt him, faced the uneasy behavior of the participants who were afraid of this confrontation. All these moments were part of one of the most shocking art performances in history.

The most brutal demonstration lasted for 6 hours They cut, smashed, even put a gun to his head


With his historic performance, Abramovich focused on the consequences of a person remaining passive despite the dangers to himself. Abramovic, who wanted to show the people around at what stage an inactive person will start to use force, the effect of reaction and unresponsiveness on the use of force, and when animal instincts will emerge, managed to put his signature under a performance that will not be easily erased from the memories.


Abramovich gave the audience complete control over his body to let them see how far they would go, while the audience was infuriated by his passivity and similarly resorted to violence to see how far he could go.


During the performance of the Serbian artist, the audience was specifically allowed to perform their most aggressive instincts. Focusing on the dilemmas of human psychology, this performance also revealed important sociological results as it took place in a gallery with many participants.

A performance that left a mark on art history. Abramovic, on the other hand, shared over the years that he still has scars from ‘Rhythm 0’ and that it was not easy for him to completely get rid of the fear he experienced during the performance. Abramovic also admitted that with this performance, he learned which dot line to draw in order not to risk his health and life again.


Marina Abramovic, one of the most popular names in performance art, is today known for her unforgettable love with Ulay, who is a performance artist like herself and passed away in 2020. Abramovich and Ulay, who wanted to complete their relationship with a spiritual journey, had walked about 6 thousand kilometers from the two ends of the Great Wall of China to each other in 90 days. The place where the two met was actually the place where their relationship ended. The duo, who did not come together for a long time after this separation, came together in 2010 at a retrospective exhibition of Abramovic at MoMA.

Abramovich was sitting on a chair in his performance here, while people he did not know were sitting in front of him for 1 minute. These people, who were looking at Abramovich for 1 minute, would get up from the chair when the time was up. Ulay, who appeared before Abramovic as a participant years later, shocked not only the Serbian artist but all the audience. The sadness, love, pain and regret between the two, who stared at each other for seconds, fascinated the audience, and these historical and special moments found a wide place especially in popular culture.


The 76-year-old Serbian artist, whose popularity gradually increased in the 2010s, has been trying to be targeted by a particular group in the USA since 2016. The allegations that the artist, whose performances are often protested, included satanist elements in a commercial that went on air in 2020, had been at the top of the agenda for a long time. The US-based technology giant Microsoft’s cancellation of the Abramovic commercial, especially due to the reactions from the far right, was met with surprise and sadness in the art circles.

The article is in Turkish

Tags: brutal show lasted hours cut smashed put gun


NEXT President of the Chamber of Architects became a candidate from CHP