24 Frames Per Second

“Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meet for one last big hug in the middle and never see each other again. At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present,’ 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.”

I invited him to the performance because we shared 12 years of work, but I had no idea he was going to sit. So when he sat in front of me it was really so emotional, everybody could see because it was reflecting everything we went through together. In one of our performances, “The Night Sea Crossing,” we sat across from each other and he could not do it and I could. That’s why I replaced him with the public. I didn’t think he would ever sit in the chair opposite me, so when he did, I broke all the rules. I just thought that in that place at that moment there were no rules. I just needed to hold his hand and feel togetherness in that moment, which was very emotional.”

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