Abramovi? cites Marcel Duchamp and Dada (image 2), as well as the Fluxus movement, as being immensely influential on her work. In the 1960s George Maciunas started Fluxus, also directly influenced by Duchamp’s ready-mades, and Dada performances. Fluxus called for a living art outside the traditional gallery setting.
Fluxus and Dada both advocated art of experience, in which the embrace of chance, and an emphasis on audience interaction was crucial towards ridding the world of the “dead” art found in galleries and institutions.
“I have arrived at the conclusion that…the performance has no meaning without the public because, as Duchamp said it is the public that completes the work of art. In the case of performance, I would say that public and performer are not only complimentary but almost inseparable.”
-Abramovi? on the influence of Duchamp in her emphasis on audience interaction.
Yoko Ono is one such Fluxus artist who was working in New York in the 1970s, and whose emphasis on the role of the audience, and challenge of passive viewership, is paralleled in Abramovi?’s Rhythms series of 1973-74. In particular, Ono’s Cut Piece (1964) (image 3) and Abramovi?’s Rhythm 0 (1974) (image 4) emphasize a shared interest in the use of their own bodies as victims to chance to enforce active instead of passive viewership.
Image 3. Yoko Ono, Cut Piece, 1964. Performance. Yamaichi Concert Hall, Kyoto, Japan. Video from this performance available here.
Image 4. Marina Abramovi?, Rhythm 0, 1974. Performance. 6 hours. Studio Mona, Naples, Italy. Video about this performance available here.
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