Marina Abramović, Rhythm 0, 1974
In Rhythm 0, artist Marina Abramović allowed people to use one of the 72 objects, such as chains, feathers, a Polaroid camera, olive oil, razor blades, an axe, a rose, a bullet and a gun, on the table in any way that they chose upon her for six hours. During the project, she stood totally passive and surrendered control of her body to the participators without knowing what the result would be. As time passed, Abramović noted that people began to act more aggressively while they reacted with caution and modesty at the very beginning. The consistent allowance of trust juxtaposed the increasing degree of violence she received, as those intimate actions were neither written at her behest or subject to her approval.
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.”