I was not allowed to leave the house after 10 o'clock at night until I was 29 years old. It's completely insane, but all of my cutting myself [sic], whipping myself, burning myself, almost losing my life in 'The Firestar' - everything was done before 10 in the evening.
From to , she taught at the Academy of Fine Arts at Novi Sad , while implementing her first solo performances. Making use of twenty knives and two tape recorders, the artist played the Russian game , in which rhythmic knife jabs are aimed between the splayed fingers of one's hand. Each time she cut herself, she would pick up a new knife from the row of twenty she had set up, and record the operation.
After cutting herself twenty times, she replayed the tape, listened to the sounds, and tried to repeat the same movements, attempting to replicate the mistakes, merging past and present. She set out to explore the physical and mental limitations of the body — the pain and the sounds of the stabbing; the double sounds from the history and the replication.
When finished with each, she threw the clippings into the flames, creating a burst of light each time. Burning the communist five-pointed star represented a physical and mental purification, while also addressing the political traditions of her past. Due to the light and smoke given off by the fire, the observing audience did not realize that, once inside the star, the artist had lost consciousness from lack of oxygen. Some members of the audience realized what had occurred only when the flames came very near to her body and she remained inert.
A doctor and several members of the audience intervened and extricated her from the star. When you lose consciousness you can't be present, you can't perform. She performed the work at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, in In Part I, which had a duration of 50 minutes, she ingested a medication she describes as 'given to patients who suffer from catatonia , to force them to change the positions of their bodies. After a ten-minute break, she took a second medication 'given to schizophrenic patients with violent behavior disorders to calm them down.
She approached the fan slowly, attempting to breathe in as much air as possible to push the limits of her lungs. Soon after she lost consciousness. She assigned a passive role to herself, with the public being the force which would act on her.
Some of these were objects that could give pleasure, while others could be wielded to inflict pain, or to harm her. Among them were a rose, a feather, honey, a whip, olive oil, scissors, a scalpel, a gun and a single bullet.
For six hours the artist allowed the audience members to manipulate her body and actions. This tested how vulnerable and aggressive the human subject could be when hidden from social consequences. There were cuts on her neck made by audience members, and her clothes were cut off her body.
By doing so, the individual experience morphs into a collective one and creates a powerful message. This type of representation also reflects key political issues such as BDSM , which complicates and questions the relation between art versus sexuality and public discourse.
Initially, members of the audience reacted with caution and modesty, but as time passed and the artist remained passive people began to act more aggressively. I felt really violated: It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the audience. Everyone ran away, to escape an actual confrontation.
She vigorously brushes the different parts of the skeleton with soapy water. Each monitor is dedicated to one part of the skeleton: Each video is filmed with its own sound, creating an overlap. This three-hour performance is filled with metaphors of the Tibetan death rites that prepare disciples to become one with their own mortality. The piece consists of a three-piece series.
Cleaning the Mirror 1 was performed at the Museum of Modern Art , consisting of three hours. Cleaning the Mirror 2 consists of 90 minutes performed at Oxford University. Cleaning the Mirror 3 was performed at Pitt Rivers Museum for five hours.
These "recipes" were meant to be "evocative instructions for actions or for thoughts. This was originally installed in the Zerynthia Associazione per l'Arte Contemporanea in Rome , Italy and included white gallery walls with "enigmatically violent recipe instructions" painted in pig's blood. They began living and performing together that year. They created "relation works" characterized by constant movement, change, process and "art vital.
Each performer was interested in the traditions of their cultural heritage and the individual's desire for ritual. Consequently, they decided to form a collective being called "The Other," and spoke of themselves as parts of a "two-headed body.
As they defined this phantom identity, their individual identities became less accessible. In an analysis of phantom artistic identities, Charles Green has noted that this allowed a deeper understanding of the artist as performer, for it revealed a way of "having the artistic self-made available for self-scrutiny. Her body studies, she insists, have always been concerned primarily with the body as the unit of an individual, a tendency she traces to her parents' military pasts.
They devised a series of works in which their bodies created additional spaces for audience interaction. In discussing this phase of her performance history, she has said: I had to find out how to put my ego down, as did he, to create something like a hermaphroditic state of being that we called the death self.
After laps the idea was that they entered the New Millennium. In Relation in Time they sat back to back, tied together by their ponytails for sixteen hours. They then allowed the public to enter the room to see if they could use the energy of the public to push their limits even further.
Seventeen minutes after the beginning of the performance they both fell to the floor unconscious, their lungs having filled with carbon dioxide. This personal piece explored the idea of an individual's ability to absorb the life of another person, exchanging and destroying it. In Imponderabilia , reenacted in two performers, both completely nude, stand in a doorway.
The public must squeeze between them in order to pass, and in doing so choose which one of them to face. They gradually moved closer and closer, until they were eventually yelling directly into each other's mouths. They sat silently across from each other in chairs for seven hours a day. They each walked the Great Wall of China , in a piece called Lovers, starting from the two opposite ends and meeting in the middle. She later described the process: It is very human.
It is in a way more dramatic, more like a film ending Because in the end, you are really alone, whatever you do. She felt that the metals in the ground influenced her mood and state of being; she also pondered the Chinese myths in which the Great Wall has been described as a "dragon of energy.
On seven consecutive nights for seven hours she recreated the works of five artists first performed in the '60s and '70s, in addition to re-performing her own Lips of Thomas and introducing a new performance on the last night.
The performances were arduous, requiring both the physical and the mental concentration of the artist.