Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Which side would you choose?

Photography is art, but art is not only photography. In all aspects of art, one of the main purposes of the artist is to get out of the box. To do that, artists try to linger at the borders of their form of art and they sometimes find intersections. They extend the concept of art to a level where there is “art inside the art.”

This project performed by Marina Abramovic and Ulay is one of the great examples of this search for artistic ideas and concepts outside the box. Marina Abramovic is a performance artist from Yugoslavia. In 1976, she met with the German performance artist and photographer Uwe Laysiepen who prefers to go with the single name Ulay. They started to live together and form art.

The photograph was taken by Mario Carbone who directed the art show. The occasion is the opening reception of an art show hosted by Abramovic and Ulay. However, the concept of “art inside the art” is incorporated in the show amazingly as the two artists stand naked at the doorstep of the gallery facing each other.

Marina Abramovic and Ulay, Imponderablia (1977)
This interesting way of greeting the guests forces everyone to make a momentary decision to choose which one of the artists to face, male or female, as they go between them, through the doorstep. Watch the video to see which side people decided to face as they enter the gallery.

And then ask yourselves: Which side would you choose?

1 comment:

Betül Aydın said...

Their reunion at MoMA while Abramovic was performing "The Artist is Present": http://zengarage.com.au/2013/03/marina-abramovic-and-ulay/

p.s. (from wikipedia) 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.”