Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović has chosen not to press charges against a man who publicly attacked her at a book signing in the Italian city of Florence.
An amateur artist assaulted the 71-year-old as she left the Palazzo Strozzi on Sunday as part of an event for her latest retrospective, Marina Abramovic: The Cleaner.
Vaclav Pisvejc, a 51-year-old Czech national, hit Abramović over the head with a distorted portrait of the artist herself. He later claimed that the attack had been “part of [his] art.”
Abramović, who was left “stunned but unhurt” by the attack, refused to press charges, but asked to speak to Pisvejc in an attempt to understand his actions.
“Violence against others doesn’t make art,” Abramović told Italian newspaper La Repubblica. “I was once also an unknown young artist, but I’ve never hurt anyone. In my work, I do stage different situations and put my life at risk, but this is my decision and I set the terms.”