Marina Abramovic and Ulay
(Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 1946 - )
Lives New York City
Marina Abramovic was born in 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, where she attended the Academy of Fine Arts. She went on to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb before teaching at the Academy of Arts, University of Novi Sad from 1973 to 1975. Initially a painter, Abramovic subsequently shifted her focus to conceptual work, sound pieces, and performance art. Ulay (F. Uwe Laysiepen) was born in 1943 in Solingen, Germany. After fulfilling an apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer he began to study photography. He worked in the fields of experimental photography, film, performance and environmental art until 1975. The two met in Amsterdam in 1976 and began living and working together. They initiated their collaboration with Relation Work, a series of ritualistic performances investigating male and female energies, mental and physical endurance and identity. From 1981 to 1986 they presented Nightsea Crossing, a performance of motionless meditation, in ninety sites around the world. In 1988, as their final artistic collaboration, they completed a walk along the Great Wall of China, meeting in the middle, they said goodbye to one another and have since pursued individual artistic projects. Ulay has been a professor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe. Abramovic’s solo work has been featured in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. In 2010 Abramovic was the subject of a major performance retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York entitled Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present.