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Alphabe Thursday … U is for Marina Abramović and Ulay

April 9, 2015


There have been performance artists that have used walking as their preferred medium; some have been dramatic, ambitious and extreme.  Marina Abramovic and Ulay for instance, were radical performance artists, she from Yugoslavia and he from East Germany.  In 1976 they began to collaborate in a series in what they called ‘relationship’ works.  They were interested in testing both their own and the audiences’ physical and psychic boundaries with performance that threatened all emotional senses.  Among their influences were shamanism, alchemy, Tibetan Buddhism and other esoteric traditions.  After years of pushing the boundaries in 1988 Abramović and Ulay decided to make a spiritual journey which would end their relationship. They began their final walk from opposite ends of the Great Wall of China; Marina from the east by the sea and Ulay from the west in the Gobi desert.  Three months later they met up in a mountain pass near Shenmu in Shaanxi Province among Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist temples. It was noted that this last performance ended as their first performance; where they strode towards each until they collided.

alphabet thursday

10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2015 2:56 pm

    Very interestring, Nel. I really like the illustration picture.
    Our country library has a book by Marina Abramovic called the “Performing Body.” Would this be one of her series and be worth reading. I would have loved to be able to read of there last experiment.
    The description of the book in our library follows:
    “Published in connection with installations shown at Studio Stefania Miscetti, Rome, and Zerynthia, Paliano (Fr), May 19-Sept. 30, 1997. Italian and English.”

    Also a video comes up with the search for her:
    ” Art:21 [videorecording] : art in the twenty-first century. Season six / curator, Susan Sollins ; series created by Susan Sollins and Susan Dowling. ”

    I might check them out just to see? Whatchathink?

    • April 9, 2015 2:57 pm

      Oops, should be “their last experiment”, sorry.

    • April 9, 2015 3:38 pm

      I would be interested to I know very little of them both they seem fascinating and sad …

  2. April 9, 2015 4:35 pm

    How interesting! I’ve never heard of that before…

  3. April 9, 2015 8:25 pm

    Wow! A very, very interesting story about an amazing couple. I like how you ended your tale. Thanks for sharing it.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

    • April 10, 2015 6:40 am

      Thanks for dropping in so regularly on my ‘walks’ I have enjoyed the company

  4. April 10, 2015 3:50 am

    That’s quite a journey!

  5. May 6, 2015 10:45 am

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you
    are a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and will
    often come back down the road. I want to encourage that you continue your great writing, have a nice morning!

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