Abramovic, Marina b.1946 / Rhythm 0
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Abramovic, Marina b.1946 / Rhythm 0Abramovic, Marina b.1946 / Rhythm 0Abramovic, Marina b.1946 / Rhythm 0Abramovic, Marina b.1946 / Rhythm 0Abramovic, Marina b.1946 / Rhythm 0Abramovic, Marina b.1946 / Rhythm 0Abramovic, Marina b.1946 / Rhythm 0Abramovic, Marina b.1946 / Rhythm 0Abramovic, Marina b.1946 / Rhythm 0Abramovic, Marina b.1946 / Rhythm 0Abramovic, Marina b.1946 / Rhythm 0
about this work
Since the beginning of her career in Belgrade during the early 1970s, Marina Abramović has pioneered performance as a visual art form. She created some of the most important early works in this practice, including Rhythm 0 (1974), in which she offered herself as an object of experimentation for the audience.

This piece was primarily a trust exercise, in which Abramović told viewers she would not move for six hours no matter what they did to her. She placed 72 objects one could use in pleasing or destructive ways, ranging from flowers and a feather boa to a knife and a loaded pistol, on a table near her and invited the viewers to use them on her however they wanted. Initially, Abramović said, viewers were peaceful and timid, but it escalated to violence quickly. “The experience I learned was that … if you leave decision to the public, you can be killed… I felt really violated: they cut 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 public. Everyone ran away, escaping an actual confrontation.”

This performance married concept with physicality, endurance with empathy, complicity with loss of control and passivity with danger; pushing the boundaries of self-discovery, both of herself and her audience. It also marked her first engagements with time, stillness, energy, pain and the resulting heightened consciousness generated by long duration performance.The body has always been both her subject and medium. Exploring her physical and mental limits in works that deal with the simple actions of everyday life, she has withstood pain, exhaustion and danger in her quest for emotional and spiritual transformation.

Vito Hannibal Acconci, the American designer, landscape architect, performance and installation artist, stated in an interview with Andrew Russet:" Marina’s earliest performances, 1973 approx, and her performances together with Ulay, were some of the best performances." (This interview was published in the Gallerist section of The Observer, Feb 18, 2014).

"It was in the 1970s that she began to work on performances involving the direct use of her own body, exemplified in the exhibition by the Rhythm series (1973–4), the famous Art Must Be Beautiful/Artist Must Be Beatiful (1975) performance and The Freeing Series (Memory, Voice, Body, 1975)." Text for The Cleaner, Palazzo Strozzi website (Sep 2018 - Jan 2019).
List of the 72 Objects on the Table: Gun | Bullet | Blue pain | Comb | Bell | Whip | Lipstick | Pocket Knife | Fork | Perfume | Spoon | Cotton | Flowers | Matches | Rose | Candle | Water | Scarf | Mirror | Drinking glass | Polaroid camera | Feather | Chains | Nails | Needle | Safety pin | Hairpin | Brush | Bandage| Red paint | White paint | Scissors | Pen | Book | Hat | Handkerchief | Sheet of white paper | Kitchen knife | Hammer | Saw | Piece of wood | Ax | Stick | Bone of lamb | Newspaper | Bread | Wine | Honey | Salt | Sugar | Soap | Cake | Metal pipe | Scalpel | Metal spear | Box of razor blades | Dish | Flute | Band aid | Alcohol | Medal | Coat | Shoes | Chair | Leather strings | Yarn | Wire | Sulfur | Grapes | Olive oil | Rosemary branch | Apple

'Rhythm 0' is an edition of three; the other editions are held by the Tate Collection and the Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana and the Artist's Proof by the Museum of Monte Negro. The work has been exhibited at SALT Galata, Istanbul and has travelled to the MoMA, New York and The Garage Center, Moscow for the touring exhibition 'The Artist is Present'. 

Marina Abramovic (b.1946, Serbia)

Rhythm 0, 1974

Table with 72 objects and slide projector with slides of performance
Edition: 3/3+2AP
Lisson Gallery, London, UK Current Location:
UK - London - G4Si InstallationEastern Europe


After Life
Main Galleries, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, London, England
26/09/2020 - 08/12/2020

Marina Abramović, The Cleaner
Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, Serbia
21/09/2019 - 20/01/2020

Marina Abramović. The Cleaner
Palazzo Strozzi
09/21/2018 - 01/20/2019

Marina Abramović: The Cleaner
Bundes Kunsthalle, Bonn, Germany
04/20/2018 - 08/12/2018

Marina Abramović: The Cleaner
Louisiana MOMA, Denmark
06/17/2017 - 10/22/2017

Marina Abramović: The Cleaner
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
02/18/2017 - May 2017

Tate Switch House Opening Show
Tate Modern, London, UK
June 2016 - September 2016

Marina Abramovic: Rhythm 0, 1974
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
June 2014 - February 2015

Rhythm 0 Marina Abramović
SALT GALATA, Istanbul, Turkey
January 2014 - February 2014

Marina Abramovi?: Retrospective for Garage, Moscow
Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, Russia
October 2011 - December 2011

Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present
Museum of Modern Art, New York NY
March 2010 - May 2010

Photo documentation of performances Rhythm 10, 2, 5, 4, 0
Galerie Magers,Bonn, Germany

Photo documentation of performances Rhythms 10, 2, 5, 4, 0
Galerie Krinzinger, Innsbruck, Germany

Rhythms 10; 2; 5; 4; 0, photo documentation of performances
Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade,Serbia

Photo documentation of performances Rhythms 10, 2, 5, 4, 0
Galleria Diagramma, Milan, Italy

Rhythm 0
Morra Arte Studio, Naples, Italy


Hettie Judah, Marina Abramović's Major Retrospective Charts 50 Years of Pushing Boundaries
Sotheby's (Magazine), September 26, 2018
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Ana Sandoiu , Rhythm 0, Marina Abramović, and Freudian Ambivalence
Partially Examined Life (Online), October 4, 2016
View Publication »

Samuel Spencer , New Tate Modern: 10 Works to See
Boulin Art Info (Online), June 2016
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Emily Weiner , Marina Abramovic: Rhythm 0, 1974
Time Out Israel (Online), 21 October 2014
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Get into Marina Abramovic’s Rhythm
TLV1 Radio (Online), 21 June 2014
View Publication »

Galia Yahav, The Painted Priestess
Haaretz (Newspaper), June 2014

Dana Gillerman , A Copy for Collectors
Yediot Aharonot (Newspaper), June 2014

JOHN DOPPLER, Reality 0 — What We Can Learn From This Terrifying Experiment
(Online), MAY 22, 2014
View Publication »

The LIfe and Death of Marina Abramovic
Time Out (Newspaper), 14/08/14

Rachel Wolff, Peddling Performance: From McNamara to Sehgal, Fresh Ways to Sell the Ephemeral
Blouin Artinfo (Online), November 11, 2013
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Kee Chang, Q&A With Marina Abramovic
Anthem (Online), June 15, 2012
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Matthew Akers, Jeff Dupre, Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present
(Other), 2012
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Sean O'Hagan, Interview: Marina Abramovic
The Guardian-The Observer (Newspaper), October 3, 2010
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Klaus Biesenbach et al., Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present
MoMA (Catalogue), 2010
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Kristine Stiles, Klaus Biesenbach, Chrissie Iles, Marina Abramovic
Phaidon (Book), 2008
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Pitchaya Sudbanthad, MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ Interview by Pitchaya Sudbanthad
Museo Magazine (Magazine), 1998
View Publication »

Bojana Pejic with Thomas McEvilley & Toni Stoos, Marina Abramovic: Artist Body
Charta (Book), 1998

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