In 2010, for ‘One Metre of Democracy’, 25 people were asked to vote in a secret ballot for whether performance artist He Yunchang should have a metre-long cut made down his left side, from just below his clavicle to his knee. By a margin of 12 to 10 (with three abstentions), the voters chose for Yunchang to undergo the cut, which he did.

Top Ten Notorious Performance Art Pieces

In light of Marina Abramović's new exhibition opening today at the Serpentine Gallery, we take a look at the history of performance art.

[T]oday marks the opening of Marina Abramović’s debut exhibition at London’s Serpentine Gallery. For the duration of 11 weeks ‘512 Hours’ will see the Serbian performance artist, who has been listed as one of the most influential people in the world, perform from 10am to 6pm, six days a week.

Abramović’s first major performance since MoMA hosted her famous residency entitled ‘The Artist is Present’ in 2010, ‘512 Hours’ will see the 67-year-old artist engage with members of the public in a basic environment; visitors will not be permitted to enter with bags, jackets, electronic equipment, watches or cameras, instead they will have to, both physically and metaphorically, leave their baggage at the door before entering the exhibition.

In light of the opening, today we count down the top ten notorious performance art pieces in history – from vomiting to voluntary castration, prepare to be shocked.

‘512 Hours’ is currently showing at the Serpentine Gallery until 25th August 2014.

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