Ulay and marina abramovic great wall

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ulay and marina abramovic great wall

Marina Abramovic and Ulay - The Lovers Video (Author: Marina Abramović)

File Name: ulay and marina abramovic great wall.zip
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Published 30.12.2018

Marina Abramović e Ulay - MoMA 2010

What we learned from Marina Abramović and Ulay’s 1988 break-up performance

Judging from the past week—and, come to think of it, this entire year —one could hardly be blamed in thinking that love is officially dead. To be clear, the pair, who dated for over a decade, is not back together romantically, but they have made serious advances from where they'd last left it. That would be on the Great Wall of China, where in, , after traveling from opposite ends until they met in the middle, they originally intended to marry. You can see the moment, which quickly went viral, below around the mark. Soon, through their collective duo they called The Other, they heralded a new era of collaborative and performative art—and particularly one fond of pushing to extremes.

Each of them walked half the length of the Great Wall of China, starting from the two opposite ends and meeting in the middle. There they would end it all….. Her work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. Some of these were objects that could give pleasure, while others could be wielded to inflict pain, or to harm her. Among them were a rose, a feather, honey, a whip, olive oil, scissors, a scalpel, a gun and a single bullet.

In , Ulay and Abramovic decided to end their relationship and to mark this with a performance, which became the legendary endpoint of their collaboration. After years of negotiations with the Chinese authorities, the artists got the permission to carry out 'The Lovers: The Great Wall Walk', in which they started to walk from different ends of the Chinese Wall in order to meet in the middle and say good-bye to each other. Ulay started at the western end of the Wall, at Jai Yu Guan, the south-western periphery of the Gobi Desert, walking eastward. Here, they embraced each other to go on with their life and work separately from then on. As their work had often employed ritualized actions, mythology and Eastern thought, 'The Lovers: The Great Wall Walk' has to be considered the perfect end of the common oeuvre - also due to the Wall's mythological and philosophical connotations. The performance was recorded by Murray Grigor for the BBC 16mm film, transferred to video , which resulted in the documentary 'The Great Wall: Lovers at the Brink', of which there exist a long screening-version and a shorter VHS-version. Ulay and I end our relations with this project.

This article is the first in a new series of features which explore the lessons we can learn from great works of art. The piece, inevitably, was about love. Only a few years prior, the pair had planned to travel the same journey, only with the intention to wed the moment they met in the middle.
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Odo M. says:

    Alone on the Great Wall of China

  2. Florinda L. says:

    Artists Marina Abramovic and Ulay are known in many parts of the world as the lovers whose relationship ended at the Great Wall of China.

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