French artist Gina Pane conducted "pain performances" that involved (as wikipedia puts it
) "extreme self-inflicted injury." Some info from an article by Pawel Leszkowicz
Gina Pane. Today many pronounce her name Gina Pain, turning the Italian word for bread into the English word for suffering. Pane, the queen of European body art, has been having something of a renaissance in the early 21st century art world, in the era of virtual bodies. Her art actions of the late 1970s featured constant demonstrations of pain. Called "that crazy lady with the razor blade" by some ironists, she cut the skin of her palms, hands, back, belly, mouth, tongue, and cheeks.
Some of her pain performances:
(1971): Barefoot, she climbed up and down a ladder-like structure whose rungs were studded with sharp metallic shards. She did this until she was bleeding profusely.
(1971): While watching news footage of the Vietnam War, with a bright light shining in her eyes, she ate raw ground beef, and later threw it up.
(1973): Dressed in white, she entered the gallery with a bouquet of roses, removed the thorns from them, and pierced her arm with the thorns. She then began cutting herself with a razor blade, allowing the blood to drip onto the roses.
(1973): She lay on a metal bedframe position over two rows of burning candles. She later confessed that the pain started right away and was difficult to master. The audience could see the pain she was in by the intense wringing of her hands.
More info: art moderne