All of Marina Abramovic’s work powerfully investigates presence, corporeality, limits. It is hard and perhaps pointless to pick a “most famous” work, but if one must, a contender for that title is Rhythm 0. Abramovic speaks of this 1974 piece to this day…
And, indeed, even though she was born a dozen years after Abramovic performed Rhythm 0, Lady Gaga speaks of it also:
What is interesting about this “famous work” is that it shares something with the way we name places.
It’s true we occasionally name places for things that are common there like “Thousand Oaks,” but at least as often we name places not for their common elements but for their unique or unusual elements, “Lone Pine.”
Rhythm 0 is the Lone Pine of Abramovic’s oeuvre. Yes this work is demanding of her as all her works are, but unlike most of her works the focus of this work’s investigation is more of her audience than of herself. As much as “phenomenology art” or “corporeality art” or “psychology art,” Rhythm 0 is “sociology art.” Indeed, it was performed just 10 years after that social psychology watershed tragedy, the murder of Kitty Genovese
Today Kitty Genovese would have been 76, Lady Gaga is 25, and today Rhythm 0 exists 37 years in the past. It is famous. It is infamous.
I propose to do a virtual re-performance of Rhythm 0.
The 1974 work was planned to last 6 hours. I have read accounts that it lasted the full 6 hours. I have read accounts that it was stopped early by the audience because of the intensity it had reached. Either way, I believe that this time scale while compelling in the physical world has a diffusing quality within the dynamics of the virtual world, therefore I believe a 3 hour performance may be about right. The 72 objects may change some given the procedural differences of the virtual world, but just as 37 years ago, a sign will read:
There are 72 objeces on the table that one can use on me as desired.
I am the object.
During this period I take full responsibility.