Even the charity auction imitated performance art. Gavel wielder Simon de Pury came to the center of the tables and announced that
herself would offer to the highest bidder a new item for the benefit auction, a one-time-only performance that could not be recorded by any electronic devices. There could be no talking during the performance, nor any clock faces present.
Abramović explained the auction prize: “As I work with my body, I was like, let’s donate—well, not exactly donate my body, but donate dinner with my body.” The dinner could involve the winning bidder and 10 friends. Art handlers walked around, holding up a gigantic, photographic self-portrait of Abramović, also for sale, so her visage hovered around the stage. In the three days before the dinner performance, the artist instructed that attendees could not have sex, could not watch television, and could not talk about Donald Trump.