Some members of the audience realized what had occurred only when the flames came very near to her body and she remained inert.
A doctor and several members of the audience intervened and extricated her from the star.
It's completely insane, but all of my cutting myself, whipping myself, burning myself, almost losing my life in 'The Firestar' – everything was done before 10 in the evening." She was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade from 1965 to 1970.
She completed her post-graduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, SR Croatia in 1972.
She performed the work at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, in 1974.
In Part I, which had a duration of 50 minutes, she ingested a medication she describes as 'given to patients who suffer from catatonia, to force them to change the positions of their bodies.' The medication caused her muscles to contract violently, and she lost complete control over her body while remaining aware of what was going on.
There were cuts on her neck made by audience members, and her clothes were cut off her body.
In her works, Abramović affirms her identity through the perspective of others, however, more importantly by changing the roles of each player, the identity and nature of humanity at large is unraveled and showcased.
From 1992–1996 she was a visiting professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg and from 1997–2004 she was a professor for performance-art at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Braunschweig. Making use of twenty knives and two tape recorders, the artist played the Russian game, in which rhythmic knife jabs are aimed between the splayed fingers of one's hand.
By doing so, the individual experience morphs into a collective one and creates a powerful message.
Abramović's art also represents the objectification of the female body, as she remains motionless and allows the spectators to do as they please with her body, pushing the limits of what one would consider acceptable.
Abramović later commented upon this experience: "I was very angry because I understood there is a physical limit.
When you lose consciousness you can't be present, you can't perform." Prompted by her loss of consciousness during Rhythm 5, Abramović devised the two-part Rhythm 2 to incorporate a state of unconsciousness in a performance.