Wednesday, April 23, 2014

BODY ART #8: Marina Abramovic and Ulay

We continue to introduce some great artists who have chosen to use the body (often their body) as the "canvas" or the "marble" on which express their creativity or pulsions.

This is an important branch of contemporary art that has its roots in the nature of human being and in the desire to modify the body or to show on it signs that link the person to a wider reality (community, culture, gods, myth...).

Among the artists we represent, it's sure that Rabarama art is influenced by the attention and focus on the body. She has her peculiar view on the theme and she is agile in changing the subjet to object in a big game of mutation: she could create on her body, with her body, on stone or metal bodies, on others' bodies.
In this way the subject is present but fades in a different concept of individuality, merging with the billions of possibilities of reality.

In August, 2014, she will be the protagonist of the RABARAMA BODY ART FESTIVAL, more information here www.rabaramabodyartfestival.com

Marina Abramovic performance

BODY ART #8: Marina Abramovic and Ulay

Sincerely, I must admit that I never appreciated too much the work of Abramovic but in this one (video below) happened something really great. The barrier between stage and real life, between "artist" (a role) and two real persons was destroyed.
I do not know if it is ART or if it is real life in front of a camera but surely this video teaches that our bodily life is the strongest source of emotions:
(comments are welcome!)

(a note: Marina Abramovic and Ulay had in the past a quite long relationship)





Marina Abramovic
Marina Abramović (born November 30, 1946) is a Serbian-born artist based in New York, a performance artist who began her career in the early 1970s. Her work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. Active for over three decades, she has recently begun to describe herself as the "grandmother of performance art."


Ulay
Ulay (stage name), real name Frank Uwe Laysiepen (born November 30, 1943), is a performance artist of the late 60s and the 70s. Ulay is based in Ljubljana, although his work takes him over the globe.

In all his works the central content is the relationship of body, space and society. During his life he travelled to different countries to collaborate with local artists, among others the Netherlands, Central Australia, China, Germany, and the United States.

From 1976 to 1989 he worked together with Marina Abramović. The performances of this period are the best known of Ulay's work.

In 1988, Ulay and Abramović 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. Ulay started from the Gobi Desert and Abramović from the Yellow Sea. After each of them walked 2500 km, they met in the middle and said "good-bye".

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The previous articles of the BODY ART serie: 

We are continuing with the publishing of posts regarding famous or worthy artists who express themselves with a particual attention to the Body.
Now it is time to make a resume and to discuss with you, our Readers, about the subject (at the end of the post you will find some questions)

First of all, the resume. We have wrote about:

ORLAN http://vecchiatoart.blogspot.com/2014/02/body-art-1-orlan.html 


ORLAN



Franko B http://vecchiatoart.blogspot.com/2014/02/body-art-2-franko-b.html


Franko B




Huang Yang http://vecchiatoart.blogspot.com/2014/03/body-art-3-huang-yang.html


Huang Yang




Rudolf Schwarzkogler http://vecchiatoart.blogspot.com/2014/03/body-art-3-rudolf-schwarzkogler.html


Rudolf Schwarzkogler




Yoko Ono http://vecchiatoart.blogspot.com/2014/03/body-art-5-yoko-ono.html


Yoko Ono




Matthew Barney http://vecchiatoart.blogspot.com/2014/04/body-art-6-matthew-barney.html


Matthew Barney 



Uruturamaro http://vecchiatoart.blogspot.com/2014/04/body-art-7-uruturamaro.html


Uruturamaro

Everyone of these artists is focused on the body but with different perspectives that could help us to discover how we Humans relate to our Body.

ORLAN declares the MY BODY IS MINE and the infinite possibilities of modifying it, while Franko B is focused on the idea of PHYSICAL PAIN and its relevance in our lives.

In a similar way Rudolf Schwarzkogler created painful images but his attention was towards the transformation of the Body in a THING, according to his personal and historical experiences.

Yoko Ono seems more interested in the BODY AS THE CENTER OF OUR RELATIONSHIP and to discover the limits (if any) of physical violence and domination, while Matthew Barney (he studied medicine at the University) mixes body mutations and ancient and modern symbolism with great attention to the aesthetics.

It is interesting to note that two artists from Far East are more focused on the interaction between Body and Nature: like Yoko Ono (she is obviuosly aware of Japanese culture) is interested to the Body non as an island but as a point in a net of relationships (social ones), so Huang Yang and Uruturamaro make the HUMAN BODY FADING IN A WIDER REALITY, NATURE.
Uruturamaro distinguishes here because of his/her explicit aim to take “persons” from the worst and most dirty places of the World Wide Web and to transform them in human-flowers.
Uruturamaro declared that he/she was inspired by some verses of a Japanese tea-master: “Even in the dirt, there are flowers”.

With these seven artists we can explore a variety of approaches to the body art, but which are in your opinion the most important forces that drive us Humans to have so a great attention to the Body while our culture seems to be more and more virtual and distant from the real, physical body (from Christianity tendency to privilege the Soul, to the technological virtualization of our present times)?

About the artists we have introduced here: who is the artist who has mostly taken your eyes? And why in your opinion?



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