Tag Archives: the artist is present

Marina is present. Ulay is with her.

ulay & marina meet after 26 years apart during her performance “The Artist is Present” at MOMA

And then, one morning, like any other morning, you wake up and browse through news updates on your FB feed. But this one morning, not like any other morning, you stumble upon Ulay & Marina meeting again, after 26 long years, and a warm tear flows out to mark your right cheek first and your left cheek next. Love is one word for it. But not enough telling to describe what we can only guess by watching at how loudly they speak to each other without telling a word nor making a sound… until they touch.

Fact is that, a few years back I met Ulay, it was a beautiful crazy afternoon in De Pijp in Amsterdam spent with great friends drinking and talking and laughing and wandering around all allies of life until night falls and becomes so deep that one can no longer hide behind social mannerism, but only show itself bare and simple. He was not with Marina Abramovic for a very long time already, but somehow she was present, in the back of a casual conversation, in a story about the past, in a lest blink of eyelashes. She was there. The good and the bad. With the solemnity of a lifetime that seemed gone and yet to go by.

I was and am not a fan of Abramovic the artist, but after that first meeting with Ulay I grew curious about both of them, their work as a couple, their life exposed to the Art World appetites, their public exposure during a 12 years relationship. I looked into it and concluded that none of them made anything nearly as good and strong since their last performance in 1988 that marked their breakup, on China’s Great Wall, when they both started walking from opposite points of the wall, just to meet in the middle after 2500km hiking and say “good-bye”. Well, looking at them today, with eyes filled with tears, I thought that the walk they took was perhaps way longer than they planned in 1988 and so much bigger than China’s Great Wall. Their long farewell lasted 26 long years, they said goodbye, but never left, never stopped the walk. And finally they have met. The artist has disappeared. True Art arises: Life. Ulay & Marina have finally met right in the middle… and it’s not a “good-bye”.

Ulay+Abramovic meet @ MOMA
watch carefully, it might move you to tears

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Filed under Art of life / Life of Art, me, myself & moi