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Thursday, April 11, 2013

11 April 2013

Today we take a page out of Angela's successful contribution last week about Knowing Thyself.
Today's Daily Quoter contribution comes from George, a long-time Daily Quota advocate, and a close personal friend of mine. He is a great source of useless information, and when he applies himself on occasions, useful information!

Heed his words:

The Art Of Love, Expression, and a Deeper Understanding.

Marina Abramovic had, what she calls, a “fucked up childhood”. It occurred at a time when her native Serbia was enduring genocide, civil upheaval, and stoic communism. It involved Partisan parents that were strict about her 10pm curfew until the age of 29. And it made her arguably the most important performance artist of the 20th century.

If life is a canvas, then we are the brush. If we are the brush, then love is the paint. For no human has ever lived that has not sought love, whether it be in the form of Storge, Philia, Eros or Agape or, most likely, all of them. We thus arrive at an inevitable connection – that between love and art

Why is it that art is so devoted to love? Music, film, literature, painting, and every artistic medium in-between has, since its inception, been in love with… well, love. 


The answer is a paradox of utter simplicity and boundless complexity. We love art, because it teaches us to love. We love to express ourselves, to understand deeply each other, and the reasons why we feel the way we do. And when we do so at the highest levels, we create art. We also create love. Hence, love is art.

When Marina Abramovic met Ulay, a prominent performance artist from West Germany, she embarked with him upon a spiritual journey which saw them creating various performances based on the energy of their love for one another. Together, they dressed and behaved like twins, referring to themselves as “a two-headed body” in order to represent a perfect relationship of complete trust. 
In one act, they stood opposite each other, naked and in a narrow hallway, forcing passer-by to feel the awkwardness of walking between a man and woman in love. In “Breathing In/Breathing Out”, the artists took turns breathing each other’s oxygen while kissing, until no oxygen was left; they fell unconscious, their lungs filled with carbon dioxide, having just made a powerful statement about lovers’ tendency to eventually cannibalise one another.

Alas, like any performance, the love between Abramovic and Ulay had to come to an end, and it did so twelve years after their relationship began. Abramovic and Ulay felt that a love so powerful, so deeply explored as theirs, deserved a conclusion nothing short of utter hyperbole. And so, in 1988, they each set about a 2,500km journey, walking from each direction along the entire Great Wall of China, before meeting in the middle and bidding each other one final goodbye.

“And they never saw each other again?”

If you’ve read this far, this is, inevitably, the question you’re wondering. Yes, Marina Abramovic and Ulay did indeed intend to never see each other again. To them, love represented a journey; a story, which they were able to craft, and one to which their masterful brushes owed an ending, rather than a depletion of oxygen. Like art, love needed meaning – and when they had explored it enough to attain a deep understanding of themselves and of each other, their love made them respect that they could both now continue expressing themselves better alone.

However, Ulay did see Abramovic again. He saw her recently, at The Museum of Modern Art, during her retrospective entitled “The Artist is Present”. Lady GaGa was also there, as were 15,000 other people. Today’s Daily Quota is the video of what happened… twenty-two years after saying their famous farewell.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Why am I crying? Such a moving video. A very beautifully written piece, George.