This is the very definition and beauty of true art

March 8, 2013 — 43 Comments

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again…

At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed the brilliant piece ‘The Artist Is Present’, a 736-hour and 30-minute static, silent piece, in which she sat immobile in the museum’s atrium, while spectators were invited to take turns sitting opposite her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened.

I post this for my own Ulay.

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43 responses to This is the very definition and beauty of true art

  1. 

    You will get over this, believe me. Hugs x

  2. 

    Beautifully moving, a whole story unfold in such a short space of time, a book of 3.38 mn! Just stunning!

  3. 

    Who knows? We want everything that is wonderful to go on forever. If we are present to it, then it becomes eternity. We confuse eternity with time. Who knows what is intended to happen or not happen in time?

  4. 

    Oh my. Beauty, love and presence in a 3:38 minute clip. Thank you for sharing :)

  5. 

    Quite quite beautiful . Thank you

  6. 

    Love is when silence speaks. Magnificent…

  7. 

    Reblogged this on LIFE AND LOVE and commented:
    Love. Just love.

  8. 

    Wow–The power of silence and being present!

  9. 

    So simple yet so very moving.

  10. 

    It’s so difficult for me to imagine how Marina felt on the inside. My mind and heart were just ripped apart as I saw the emotion weaving its way from her eyes to her quivering lips. Thank you so much for sharing this precious moment.

  11. 

    I watched this clip a few days ago and couldn’t make any sense of it whatsoever. Thank you for the explanation–it all makes sense now.

    This brings to mind Pink’s song “Beam Me Up” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFYm9LKsuUo) — “give me a minute, I don’t know what I’d say in it.” If all my former loves sat in front of me in a public place for one minute, I can’t imagine how I might spend that time.

  12. 

    I had never heard of these artists before. How intriguing and beautiful. I wanted to cry just watching, and I have little knowledge of their relationship. I believe once you have truly loved someone, you never stop loving them–even if the relationship ends. True love does not end in hate, even if the person wounded you or walked out. True love remains.

  13. 

    I think that’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I hope you see your ‘Ulay’ again so that you can have a moment like that.

  14. 

    Ah! a beautiful story!

  15. 

    Reblogged this on KaleidoscopE and commented:
    a beautiful story

  16. 

    Reblogged this on wellfeatheredsteps and commented:
    Words cannot even express….

  17. 

    I love this. Thank you for sharing this with us! Definitely reblogging this! <3

  18. 

    Re-blogged.
    (And there are no easy answers.)

  19. 

    I saw this on a tv special. Interesting.

  20. 

    I love how in perfect silence, you can read the conversation between them. The waves of nostalgia, love, “how are you? Yes, it’s me…I’ve missed you, I’ve missed you too. What we had was so special, but it’s over and that’s not a bad thing, we both turned out ok, I need to reach out to you, remember what we had, remember what happened, and realise where we are now.” That’s a beautiful find.

  21. 

    Reblogged this on String of Pearls and commented:
    Please watch. If you must skip ahead, start from 1:25 onwards.
    “Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again…

    At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed the brilliant ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, where she shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened.”

  22. 

    beautiful

  23. 

    Reblogged this on cartoongrrrl and commented:
    I was literally just about to make a post on this story. Breathtaking.

  24. 

    A very beautiful story. Love lasts for ever, even though lovers always part…

  25. 

    Find this expressed on my blog, #482, about love, romance, and change…(Malcolm Miller’s Poems).

  26. 

    Oops! I should have said #472. Sorry.

  27. 

    Reblogged this on The Spiral Grove and commented:
    At our weekend workshop we each took part in the exercise of staggering beauty. This clip is based on that simple but illuminating act……with a twist.

  28. 

    Very inspiring! Such a wonderful video. Full of emotion.

  29. 
    Pervertically Virtuous April 1, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    I’ve loved and followed Marina’s work over the years. I went to the MOMA retrospective and sat across from her staring into her eyes. I had no idea Ulay showed up and this happened. I’m not a crier but this brought tears to my eyes.
    Thank you for liking one of my posts precisely now so I got to see this clip…

    • 

      Oh you were one of them? Oh I envy you and can only imagine what it would have been like! I adore her. She is perplexing and challenging and a stranger to me. I love her for that.

      • 
        Pervertically Virtuous April 1, 2013 at 1:35 AM

        yup, I was there (I’m not one of the people in the video), and it was a mesmerizing experience, her unwavering yet kind gaze, that gorgeous red dress… really unique moment in my life…

        She is probably my favorite performance artist ever, so powerful and unapologetic, yet so tangible, so approachable. I find a lot of performance art too abstract, too vague, too difficult to connect with as a spectator without intimate knowledge of the artist and their state of mind when creating the work. But I can always related to Marina’s work. (it might help we come from the same part of the world and I get a lot of the ethnic/cultural references in her work, but still)

  30. 
    Pervertically Virtuous April 1, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Reblogged this on Pervertically Virtuous and commented:
    I have loved and followed the work of Marina Abramovic for many years now. I was at her retrospective at MoMA and sat across from her. But I had no idea this happened. Until now.
    I’m not much of a crier, but this brought tears to my eyes.
    (Has nothing to do with sex, but has everything to do with love. And I like love, almost as much as I like sex.)

  31. 

    Abramovic is a force. Beautiful post. Thank you for checking out my page.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. This is the very definition and beauty of true art | Cornelius Agrippa - March 10, 2013

    [...] This is the very definition and beauty of true art. (Re-blogged from One Thousand Single Days.) [...]

  2. A Story by Marina and Ulay | Moods - March 11, 2013

    [...] But they did see each other again, much to Marina’s surprise: This is the very definition and beauty of true art. [...]

  3. This is the very definition and beauty of true art | Writer's Block - March 12, 2013

    [...] This is the very definition and beauty of true art. [...]

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