It’s been almost a year since the most famous representatives of performance art and a passionate experimenter with photography Frank Uwe Laysiepen aka Ulay, left us at the beginning of 2020.
Study of the photography, work for the world-famous brand Polaroid and subsequent experimentation led him to a performance alongside Marina Abramović in which he found himself.
Together they worked with the topic of examining the physical limits of the human body, the search for identity and the intertwining of male and female energy. Their performances were often quite controversial and evoked various reactions from the audience, however that’s what art is. Probably the most famous performance is called Rest Energy, where Marina and Ulay stand opposite each other, Marina holds a bow and Ulay on the other side holds a taut chord and arrow.
However, Marina Abramović was not only his collaborator, but also a fateful partner, even though their relationship did not last long. On the occasion of the end of their relationship, they performed a moving performance called The Lovers, which consisted of overcoming the Great Wall of China. Ulay began his hike from the side of the Gobi Desert and Marina from the other side, from the Yellow Sea. Each of them walked a total of 2,500 km to meet in the middle and symbolically say goodbye. An even more touching moment came in 2010, during the performance The Art Is Present, organized by Marina at the MoMA Gallery in New York, which is part of a biographical film by this artist. However, we cannot spoil this experience for you by mere words, so we attach a link at least.
After ending his relationship with the well-known Serbian performer, Ulay returned to the medium of photography, but remained connected with the performance. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. Two years later, he made a documentary named Project Cancer: Ulay's Journal from November to November, which records his life with a disease he once cured, but which has unfortunately returned.