|Marina Abramović and Ulay, Rest Energy with Ulay, 1980. Color 16mm film transferred to DVD, 4 min 5 sec. Courtesy the Artist and Lisson Gallery.|
Marina Abramović's The Artist Is Present ran from March 14–May 31, 2010 at the MoMA. The exhibition included the first live re-performances of Abramović’s work which involved viewer participation, that took place throughout the entire duration of the exhibition, starting before the Museum opened each day and continuing until after it closed, to allow visitors to experience the timelessness of the work. She sat in a chair and one by one people could sit opposite her and look into her eyes. It was a powerful experience with strangers, but then her former love Ulay arrived without her knowledge. This video shows the moment she sees him.
In 1976, after moving to Amsterdam, Abramović met the West German performance artist Ulay. When Abramović and Ulay began their collaboration, the main concepts they explored were the ego and artistic identity. This was the beginning of a decade of influential collaborative work. They spoke of themselves as parts of a “two-headed body”.They dressed and behaved like twins, and created a relationship of complete trust.In 1988, after several years of tense relations, Abramović and Ulay decided to make a spiritual journey which would end their relationship. Each of them walked the Great Wall of China, starting from the two opposite ends and meeting in the middle. As Abramović described it: “That walk became a complete personal drama. Ulay started from the Gobi Desert and I from the Yellow Sea. After each of us walked 2500 km, we met in the middle and said good-bye.
This video is so incredibly moving. I can't stop watching it.