9. Rhythm 0 & The Artist Is Present by Marina Abramovic, 1974 & 2010
A longtime fixation of Serbian artist Marina Ambramovic has been the interaction between performer and audience. These two performances-Rhythm 0 near the beginning of her acclaim and The Artist is Present cementing that acclaim-both examine that relationship, though in radically different power dynamics. In Rhythm 0, Abramovic presented 72 objects to the audience with the assent of the objects' unfettered use on Abramovic's body; this culminated when one audience member finally intervened with another who had loaded a gun and pointed it at the artist's head. For The Artist Is Present, Abramovic sat each day between March and the end of May at New York's Museum of Modern Art, simply to gaze at whomever sat across from her. The total effect of the 736 hours and 30 minutes she stared at her patrons left an undeniable impact on the individuals and the art world, broadening the scope of performance art to pop-star standards.