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Original scientific paper

Georges Bataille and the Radical Performance Art: the Philosophy of Transgression in the Performance Rhythm 0 (1974.) by Marina Abramović

Igor Vučak orcid id ; independent researcher, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Full text: croatian pdf 380 Kb

page 68-81

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Despite the contemporary understanding of the concept of transgression, which in postmodern times often slides into the domains of simulacra and mass media, this text focuses on the philosophy of the French thinker Georges Bataille (1897–1962) as a relevant theoretical framework for understanding the transgressive, violent and ritualistic practices of radical performance art from the 1970s onward. Through the theoretical reading of Marina Abramović’s performance Rhythm 0, this paper aims to examine theway in which Bataille’s philosophy—with particular emphasis on the concepts of transgression, communication, sacrifice, sovereignty, “inner experience”, metaphysical wound, eroticism and the sacred—corresponds to the extreme practices and ritualistic elements of violent performance art. This complex correlation is examined in a wider context of the new “aesthetics of transgression” inscribed in the body of the artist as a social text, site of resistance, sacrificial medium and a channel for the regeneration of the collective experience of the sacred. Finally, this paper aims to demonstrate how such aesthetic revitalization of transgression, and itsrelationship with the different forms of the violent and the sacred generated in the ritualistic performance space, can be interpreted on a more phenomenological level through the lense of Bataillean philosophy marked by its subversive rethinking of the discourses of the body, “language, sexuality and the death of God in a new construction of religious discourse”.


Georges Bataille; Marina Abramović; philosophy of transgression; performance art; ritualized violence; sacrificial aesthetics; mysticism and the sacred in art

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