Foucauldian reading of Marina Abramović's performance Rhythm 0 analysing concepts of power and resistance to re-define roles of 'activity' and 'passivity' in the performance.
(2016) Foucauldian reading of Marina Abramović's performance Rhythm 0 analysing concepts of power and resistance to re-define roles of 'activity' and 'passivity' in the performance., no. 44.
Mraina Abramović (1946 - ) has gained much distinction in the art community as one of the most prominent and influential performance artists working today. Abramović has produced a wide oeuvre of challenging and provocative works often directly engaging with spectators. One of the most notable works is Rhythm 0 a performance piece which seen her offer her body freely to a group of spectators, to treat as they wished with a variety of objects she had provided. Drawing on theories developed by French philosopher and academic Michel Foucault (1926-1984), and elements of performance theory, this dissertation conducts a critical analysis of relationships of power relationships in Rhythm 0. It refers to two other works from the Rhythm series, Rhythm 5 (1974) and Rhythm 10 (1973) to provide further support to this analysis. As the performances occurred only once in 1974 and have little photographic and video footage, the study relies primarily on secondary information gathered from previous studies of Rhythm 0. The study explores roles within performance and redefines notions of 'activity' and 'passivity' to develop a coherent understanding of the ways in which power operates in Rhythm 0. It identifies power as a productive and active force operating between various points. Furthermore it examines powers effects and operation within the individual body to further clarify roles in performance. Trough this exploration it is shown how through Rhythm 0 Abramović engages in a debate surrounding the concept of individuals freedom. By developing an understanding of how power operates in Rhythm 0 theories are produced to suggest reasons as to why it operates in this way. This study acts as a stepping stone into a wider field of research and analysis of Rhythm 0.