Sunday, December 6, 2015

Stabbing at Art Basel Miami mistaken for art exhibition

On Friday, onlookers at Art Basel Miami were shocked when they learned that an event looking like an art performance of a woman being stabbed was in fact a woman being stabbed.

A stabbing at Art Basel Miami was mistaken for an art exhibition last Friday.
Gustavo Caballero—Getty Images

Time reports Dec. 5 that two women began fighting inside the Miami BeachConvention Center, the main location for the event. One of the women pulled out an X-Acto knife and repeatedly stabbed her victim in the neck and arms. Onlookers continued to watch as police arrived and taped off the area. Many believed that the blood was fake and all part of the show.

However, the woman was indeed wounded in the aftermath of an escalated tussle. Paramedics took her to Jackson Memorial Hospital. According to a statement issued by the Miami Beach Police Department, the woman’s wounds were not fatal. The perpetrator, who was not initially named by the police, was arrested at the scene of the crime, literally seconds after it happened. Later reports named the 24-year-old New Yorker as Siyuan Zhao. The woman’s motive was unclear but she was charged with attempted murder.

Both women were patrons of the art show, not artists featured at the event.
Many witnesses declined to give the press their names. One gallery representative told the Miami Herald that she heard a scream, ran towards it and saw a young woman, dressed in blood splattered white lying on the floor. Others said that they saw a woman who looked like she had a pen sticking out of her neck. A patron who witnessed the performance was in shock because he thought that it was an art installation. “I thought it was fake blood, but it was real blood,” he said.

Security guards and event organizers worked quickly to clean up the scene to avoid further disruptions. One patron reported that a guard told him “a very expensive statue had fallen on someone.” Most patrons had no idea that anything happened at all while they continued to sip on their beverages and look at art.

While Art Basel organizers had beefed up security in lieu of the Paris attacks, security at the front door of the convention center may have been subpar. According to the Miami Herald, two women who had their purses searched upon entering said that their purses were not searched thoroughly.

-originally published at the now defunct

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