Ulay Bio – Wiki
Ulay was an artist based in Amsterdam and Ljubljana, Slovenia, who has received international recognition for his Polaroid art and collaborative performance art with longtime companion Marina Abramović.
He was born on 30 November 1943 in Solingen, Germany. His birth name was Frank Uwe Laysiepen. Ulay died on 2 March 2020.
In the early 1970s, struggling with his sense of “Germanness,” Ulay moved to Amsterdam, where he began experimenting with the medium of Polaroid.
Renais sense (1974), a series of self-reflective and autobiographical collages, depicted overt visual representations of a constructed gender that were considered scandalous and controversial at the time.
Ulay experimented extensively with incorporating audience participation into his performance art. His installations Can’t Beat the Feeling: Long Playing Record (1991–1992) and Bread and Butter (1993) were openly critical of European Union expansion.
In the Berlin Afterimages – EU Flags series, he exploited the phenomenon of retinal afterimages to depict reversed images of EU member nation flags. He produced The Delusion: An Event about Art and Psychiatry (2002) on the grounds of the Vincent van Gogh Psychiatric Institute in Venray, the Netherlands. Other projects that incorporated audience participation include Luxembourg Portraits and A Monument for the Future.
Rendering reality as accurately as possible was the focus of Cursive and Radicals (2000), Johnny–The Ontological in the Photographic Image (2004), and WE Emerge (2004), the last realized in collaboration with AoRTa art center in Chișinău, Republic of Moldova.
In 1976 Ulay began a relationship with Marina Abramović, with whom he collaborated on a number of pieces of performance art. The couple expressed their commitment in their Relation Works (1976–1988) manifesto:
‘Art Vital: No fixed living place, permanent movement, direct contact, local relation, self-selection, passing limitations, taking risks, mobile energy.’
They separated in 1988, through a performance titled The Lovers. Starting from opposite ends of the Great Wall of China, they walked towards each other and said goodbye after meeting in the middle.
Cause of Death
The performance artist Ulay has died in Ljubljana, Slovenia, aged 76. He had been suffering from lymphatic cancer.
Ulay died on Monday at the University Rehabilitation Institute in Ljubljana, leaving behind a foundation in Amsterdam and a recently launched project space in Slovenia. The cause of death has not been confirmed, though the artist had been in recovery from lymphatic cancer.