Known to many for a series of collaborative performances he did with Marina Abramovic, Ulay is also a radical figure who created many works that re-established the intertwined relationship between photography and performance.
Till June 23, Boers Li Gallery is presenting a solo exhibition titled “Ulay, Renais sense”, which brings together a large body of Ulay’s early Polaroid works from the 1970s, the iconic video works made in collaboration with Marina Abramović in the late 1970s and 1980s, as well as his more recent projects.
After being introduced to Polaroid in the late 60s, Ulay immediately became obsessed with the medium because it cut the processing time extensively and captured spontaneous moments of life.
working as an advisor for Polaroid gave him unlimited access to Polaroid film and devices so from 1970-1975, he experimented with and pushed the limits of polaroid. For instance, while searching for self identity and within Amsterdam’s transvestite and transexual subcultures, he took Polaroid self portraits where he wore high heels and applied makeup. Presented in the form of a series, the Polaroids reveal an unfolding performance being carried out. For other instant photos, he used a typewriter to add poetry on the image.
Ulay also talked about his collaboration with Marina, and the last project they did in China, “the lovers: the Great Wall Walk”, in which the two walked from opposite ends of China’s great wall to meet up in the middle and say farewell to each other…