Letting the Audience Do Anything to the Artist. Literally Anything.
If the artists we've mentioned so far have something in common, besides being crazy, it's that they all did these things to themselves: They pulled out their own nails, made themselves vomit or told their friends to shoot them to shock us or weird us out, while we normal people scratched our heads and laughed. Serbian-born performance artist Marina Abramovic turned that around by letting the audience decide what to do to her ... and it wasn't pretty.
Turns out museum visitors are assholes.
After pulling off relatively tame performance pieces like the one where she intentionally stabbed her fingers 40 times or when she laid down in the middle of a burning wooden star and almost died, Abramovic took things to the next level with her 1974 piece Rhythm 0, in which she simply stood in front of a table with 72 items on it, including a gun, metal chains, an axe and razor blades.
It was inspired by her S.T.A.L.K.E.R. inventory.
A sign informed the audience that they could do literally anything to Abramovic with these items, and she wouldn't say anything or resist. At first, they just played around with her, tickling her with feathers or using her as a coat rack, presumably. However, little by little, they started getting more aggressive. Someone tore off her clothes and pressed thorns into her stomach. Another person cut her neck with a knife and licked her blood. Then, a woman grabbed the gun from the table, loaded it with a bullet and made Abramovic point it at her own neck, pressing her fingers to see if she resisted. She didn't. This went on for six hours.
It wasn't the best day to organize a museum visit from Sociopaths Anonymous.
After the six hours were over, Abramovic snapped out of it and began walking toward the audience, who freaked and ran away. The disturbing part about Abramovic's performance is that, as crazy as she was for coming up with the idea, the completely normal people who happened to be visiting the museum that day turned out to be even worse. So she ... made her point, we guess?
Rayan is also known as Bama Bhai, and you can follow him on Twitter here.
For more art we wish we never knew about, check out 5 Works of Art That Can Probably Kill You and 5 Works of Legitimate Mad Science Passed Off as Art.