Human Instincts and Rhythm “0”

It was the talk of 1974 when an Art Show Rhythm “0” was performed by Serbian artist Marina Abramović in Studio Morra, Naples . It was 6 hours Show which lasted from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The work involved Marina standing still before the audience, those who were invited to do to her whatever they wished, using one of 72 objects she had placed on a table. These included a rose, feather, perfume, honey, bread, grapes, wine, scissors, a scalpel, nails, a metal bar, and a gun loaded with one bullet etc. There were no separate stage for audience, infect Abramović and the visitors were sharing the same space, making it clear that the latter were part of the art performance. 

Purpose: The motive of this show was to know the Human Propensities in this type of situation, where everyone was absolutely free to do to her whatever he wished for. As she was standing before audience with commitment not to resist and another concern was to check that what the people could have in their mind and for what extent, they could go.

Abramović said the work “pushed her body to the limits”. Visitors were gentle to begin with, offering her a rose or a kiss. Art critic Thomas McEvilley, who was present, wrote:

“It began tamely. Someone turned her around. Someone thrust her arms into the air. Someone touched her somewhat intimately. The Neapolitan night began to heat up. In the third hour all her clothes were cut from her with razor blades. In the fourth hour the same blades began to explore her skin. Her throat was slashed so someone could suck her blood. Various minor sexual assaults were carried out on her body. She was so committed to the piece that she would not have resisted rape or murder. Faced with her abdication of will, with its implied collapse of human psychology, a protective group began to define itself in the audience. When a loaded gun was thrust to Marina’s head and her own finger was being worked around the trigger, a fight broke out between the audience factions.”

As Abramović described it later: “What I learned was that … if you leave it up to the audience, they can kill you … I felt really violated: they cut up my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. 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.”

Rhythm “0”  was not an art work only, It exposed the buried Instincts of Human being and bring them to the surface. Let’s discuss it from different perspective;

We often have such type of deep rooted elements inside us that were pressed forcibly owing to the concern of society and its so called value system or with the fear of Law breaching and punishment. Most of the times, we are not aware of the forces of these instincts and they remain hidden in our innermost, as soon as favorable moments are there, they pop up and trigger the motion.

How do these elements intrude and become the part of our mind?

As the proverb says , “As you sow, so shall your reap.”

Nature teaches us perfectly, as Aristotle says , those seeds sprout only, that which are sowed . Keeping this line in view, let’s us ponder on our daily activities, suppose we commit any wrong, we try hard to hide it. In reverse to it , if we do good deeds, we expose to the people instantly,resulting in losing their values; just as we throw seed on barren land with no use. This way, we sow the seed of blunder inside us and further these get nested in our mind taking the form of uncontrolled forces. Surprisingly we are not aware of their practices. This practice has been going on for many ages . Sometimes we get astonished with our own deeds saying,

” Ah ! How could I do it ? “

If freehand given, the peaceful environment turns into the condition of Anarchy and It unveils the ugly face of Human predisposition. As in this show, it took a little time for so called civilized humans to become animals.

As Guru Arjan Dev Ji says in Sri Guru Granth Sahib; They belong to the human species, but they act like animals. They curse others day and night. Outwardly, they wear religious robes, but within is the filth of Maya. They cannot conceal this, no matter how hard they try.

We are not alike inside and outside. We always wear mask to pose what we are not and these masks keep on changing from person to person in different conditions. So our chunk of energy get vanished while maintaining the hoax fabrications of life.

Now question is; ” Are we carrying our fake personalities?” The answer lies in our Introspection.

Conclusion: We should not take ourselves civilized as we are living in ( so called ) civilized society, we become civilized only with the inculcation of values. We usually looking ourselves into the mirror while dressing up to make it sure how we look like but we often forget to look into our mind which reflects our personality actually what we have. So, to channelize these forces, we need to go into our Innermost with the help of Introspection and meditation tools . This is the way to repair our Inner World.

Let’s look inside and become aware of these hidden elements so that we could become the master of our deeds….


8 thoughts on “Human Instincts and Rhythm “0””

  1. Your writings are always influential which is a need of hour in today’s scenario.It reflects great depth. You are doing such a noble service for human race. Keep enlightening us!! Good luck for your future👍

    Liked by 1 person

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