Ulay, Boundary-Pushing Performance Artist, Dies at 76
Ulay, the performance artist whose provocative collaborations with Marina Abramovic often led them to push each other to extremes, died on Monday at his home in Slovenia. He was 76.
The pair’s work, while often dangerous, was designed at times to show audiences the intensity of their bond. In “Rest Energy,” from 1980, they faced each other, a bow and arrow between them. Ms. Abramovic held the bow while Ulay leaned back, pulling the arrow taut and aiming it at her chest. One slip could have caused Ulay to fire the arrow straight into her.
In Ulay’s final work with Ms. Abramovic, “The Lovers,” each of them walked more than 1,000 miles from different ends of the Great Wall of China until they met. The work had been conceived to culminate in the couple’s marriage, but by then they were estranged, and it was used to mark their separation instead.
They did not speak to each other again for some 20 years.
In 2010, he had a public reunion with Ms. Abramovic when he sat down opposite her and took her outstretched hands during “The Artist Is Present”. A video clip of their meeting, set to sentimental music, has been viewed more than 17 million times on YouTube. “It was a very touching moment,” Ulay told The Guardian in 2016.