Marina and Ulay
#marinaabramovich #ulay #theartistispresent
by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted
The Artist is Indeed Present
I’ve watched this over and over: Ulay, Ulay-oh
Each time, cathartic tears fall because I had a soul level love too and we parted ways at the middle of our own wall of China. I found it interesting to read the broad range of reactions and the sarcasm in so many of the comments on youtube. It may be easier to joke or make rude remarks when faced with a deep soul moment than to be fully present and let it inside the heart. I don’t care if she knew he was going to be at the show or not. I don’t care if he cheated on her before. I don’t care about anything but those moments on the video … years of relationship washed over their faces and in the electrified air between them.
Each person sees something different, I suppose, but I saw a woman who sat, immobile and unflinching, as she let her past flame up into her heart. I saw a man who knew that if he looked too intently at those flames, she would burn him alive. She was a fire there; a fire of … passion, devotion, conviction, strength, vulnerability. He was a gentle and constantly moving bundle of feeling, utterly unable to completely match her gaze … who will step willingly into fire? I loved her immediately but I loved him then, at the moment his eyes dropped from hers and then back again. I understood why she loved him. I loved them both, for sharing this intimate moment. To those who say “why is this art?” I say “It moves people to feel.”
I keep seeing something I didn’t see the times before. This time, watching once again, I saw what has appeared to be a fundamental difference in my own life between the masculine and feminine approach to endings.
While she drags her hands slowly away from his and they linger still on the table, he rapidly, and with one smooth movement, removes his own hands and is almost simultaneously walking away. It’s strikes my senses like their scene at the Wall of China repeating. In my own sense of men, it is not true that they are always callous or that endings are easier for them. In many cases, it is because they simply cannot bear the linger.