“This piece was primarily a trust exercise, in which she 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 piece revealed something terrible about humanity, similar to what Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment or Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Experiment, both of which also proved how readily people will harm one another under unusual circumstances.”
This performance showed just how easy it is to dehumanize a person who doesn’t fight back, and is particularly powerful because it defies what we think we know about ourselves. I’m certain the no one reading this believes the people around him/her capable of doing such things to another human being, but this performance proves otherwise.”
this is why performance art is important
So every single person who told me ‘ignore them they’ll go away’ and ‘you can’t let them know they bothered you’ and ‘They’ll stop if they don’t see you react’ and all that bull shit, my entire school career, I want you to look good and hard at this.
I want you to think about what you said.
What you keep saying.
What you are telling your children.
You are making them powerless.
Fuckin disturbing what gratifies many people. The administration was always trying to push that ignore them bullshit on me, I. was. not. having it. …Wow, I remember I once got physical with a girl, don’t remember anything other than being surprised that I was just supposed to let this evil person get away with some shit…I think even my dad condemned me for that altercation. …Just remembered, even when I was all religious, when I was going to Orthodox Jewish school - this rabbi couldn’t believe that pious Z__ shoved this dude over a desk. That I got violent “with another Jew” (fuckin racist freaks).
(Source: andrewfishman, via myminorityfeelsminor)