Perhaps the most compelling work on display is the photographic documentation of Marina Abramovic's iconic 1974 performance, Rhythm O, in which the Serbian artist tested her physical endurance and sought to transgress boundaries between herself and the public. During the performance, Abramovic stood next to a table on which she had placed 72 objects that visitors could use on her nude body. Some of the items would result in pleasure; others would inflict pain.

While Abramovic stood in a trance-like state, spectators were invited to ritually engage her body with sundry items such as a whip, lipstick, a fork, matches, a hairpin, a lamb bone, scissors, a candle, and a bandage. The performance was abruptly stopped when a man pointed a loaded gun at the artist's head, and the rest of the audience tackled him.

Scenes from Abramovic's ritual offering of her body linger in the mind long after one leaves the exhibit.

Christian Boltanski's Untitled (Reserve)
Courtesy of Rubell Family Collection, Miami
Christian Boltanski's Untitled (Reserve)

Location Info


Bass Museum of Art

2100 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Museums

Region: South Beach


"Human Rites": Through October 3 at the Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7530; Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"Our goal was to create an environment where people can explore everything from rites of passage to the everyday rituals that consume our attention," Cubiñá muses.

Mission accomplished.

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