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“We were together. I forget the rest.”

Love and Performance Art

Do you know of the artist Marina Abramovich? I had heard of her many times over the years, but I confess that I didn’t hold the most gracious view of performance art, and mentally rolled my eyes whenever I heard her name. Well, thank goodness I can still admit when I’m so caught up in my own prejudices that I almost miss something beautiful. Had I come across this clip on my own, I probably would have skipped over it and clicked on over to a J.Crew sale, or some such. But my dear friend Genevieve posted this on my Facebook page, and when Gen says, “I thought this was beautiful and emotional and that you would like it as well.”, I mute the television and give it my full attention.

Marina Abramovich  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 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.

 

Did this give you chills? Did you tear up along with them? I did. It pushes to the front of your mind so many questions, at the  forefront being: When you love someone, what exactly IS it that you love?

Thank you, Gen.

 

(video)

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This entry was posted on March 12, 2013 by .

Jessica Clare

Preschool teacher, writer, trouble maker.

LIVES: Seattle. By way of Santa Fe, San Francisco, and NYC.
LOVES: John
DAYDREAMS:Strong coffee. Gourmet magazine. Stinky cheese. Date night with new strappy heels. Green chile. Going back to India. Unabashed displays of love. Vegetable gardens. Clean sheets. Unruly stacks of books. Breaking Bad marathons. Writing like Joan Didion ,Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Joseph Stroud. Cookbooks. French 75s. Sequins with jeans. Leaving love notes.
BELIEVES: “A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security.” Albert Einstein “The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love.” St. Teresa of Avila “People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances without own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.” Joseph Campbell

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