Stabbing confused for performance art at the legendary Art Basel Miami Beach

December 6, 2015 10:00 pm

 

A view of Freedman Fitzpatrick Gallery a day after the stabbing took place. Photo / Getty

A frightening scene emerged at the legendary Art Basel Miami Beach as
a woman was stabbed, causing some patrons to think they were watching
performance art.
Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez
said the horrific incident occurred on Saturday at the Miami Beach
Convention Centre in a corridor near an art installation entitled ‘The
Swamp of Sagittarius,’ created by Miami artist Naomi Fisher and partner
Agatha Wara.
Police said the victim confronted the suspect,
Siyuan Zhao, about purposely following her around the art show and
bumping into her several times.
Zhao then pulled out an X-Acto
knife and stabbed the victim in the right side of the neck and left
shoulder without warning or provocation, authorities said.
The
victim suffered several cuts, and a photo taken of her shows blood all
over a white jacket that she was wearing as she sat on the ground
covering her face while someone applied pressure to her neck wound with
what appeared to be a white cloth.

She was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital and is expected to survive.
Zhao was arrested immediately by a Miami police officer.
While
she was being patted down by the officer, she said, “I had to kill her
and two more. I had to watch her bleed,” according to Local 10 .
Zhao admitted to stabbing the victim in the neck and she has been charged with attempted murder.
At
the time of the stabbing, Fisher said she heard a scuffle at her
exhibit and later saw the victim being wheeled away by paramedics.
“A
guy walked up to me and said, ‘I thought I saw a performance, and I
thought it was fake blood, but it was real blood,” Fisher told the Miami Herald.
Another person thought the police tape around the scene of the incident was actually an art installation.
She
explained that the stabbing happened in front of booth N29, where
Freedman Fitzpatrick Gallery from Los Angeles was exhibiting.
“It’s horrible … I’m so freaked out,” Fisher told the Miami Herald. “I feel nauseous.”
Art Basel Miami Beach spokeswoman Sara Fitzmaurice said: “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.” Both the victim
and Zhao were patrons of the art show and not exhibitors. The name of
the victim has not been released.
Earlier this week police and
Art Basel officials announced that they had increased security in and
around the convention centre after the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Security
guards and event organisers worked quickly to clean up the blood drops
left at the scene of the stabbing, and to keep the public’s attention
focused on the art, the Miami Herald reported.
Art Basel Miami Beach is attended by thousands of people from all over the world. The four-day fair closes tomorrow.
It is the extension of the annual contemporary art fair in Basel, Switzerland.

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