Art Basel Crowd Mistakes Bloody Attack For Performance Art

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When a deranged young woman stabbed another woman in the neck at Art Basel Miami, onlookers thought they were watching a performance art presentation. The attacker, 24-year-old Siyuan Zhao, has been following her victim before the woman turned to confront her. At that point, Zhao stabbed the woman in the neck and arms with an X-Acto knife. While the injuries were 'not life-threatening', it was a bloody scene that left nearby exhibitors confused and upset. But several art patrons continued to believe that even the police tape erected after the incident was part of a performance piece. According to police reports, Zhao told officers 'I had to kill her and two more!' and 'I had to watch her bleed!' NBC news reports that Zhao is facing an attempted murder charge. A spokeswoman for Art Basel issued a written statement that read, in part;

The attack was an isolated incident that was immediately secured. The suspect was apprehended by police who were at the scene within seconds of the incident. ... Our thoughts are with the victim.

At least it was just 'thoughts' rather than the 'thoughts and prayers' we've been hearing so much about in recent days. It's a thought-provoking comment on the state of contemporary art that a stabbing could be mistaken for a performance piece, but perhaps in their own way, perpetrators of violence are now performers, at least in their own minds. Art Basel is seeking legal advice, according to a source close to the fair who spoke to artnet News on condition of anonymity.   photos - Rudy Perez

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