My friend told me this wonderful story about a performance artist, whose work mainly explores the relationship between performer and the audience, limits of the body and possibilities of mind. The story was about this artist, how she met another artist and how they both started working together and fell in love. They did wonderful pieces together but after some 10-12 years, they decided to call it off.
Their breakup, too, as dramatic as their work, was called “The Great Wall Walk”, wherein they walked towards each other from opposite ends of Great Wall of China, met in the midway, and said “Goodbyes”. It must have been one hell of a spiritual journey! Anyway, artists do stuff like that so I will let it pass.
The artists are by the way, Marina Abramovic and Uwey Laysiepen(Ulay).
In 2010, Marina performed The Artist Is Present, a 736-hour and 30-minute static, silent piece, in which she sat immobile in the atrium of Museum of Modern Art while spectators were invited to take turns sitting opposite her for a minute.
One of those “1 minute” retrospective interactions were so special that Marina had tears in her eyes and she held out her hands.
The person who received such a special reaction was no one but Ulay. They had not seen each other in 30 years, and as she opened her eyes, there he was!! And all I can think of after watching this video was what all she would have felt in that 1 minute?
The surprise of seeing him there, in front of her, the happiness and the fast forward flash of all the good times they have spent together. The desire to live this one minute as much as she could for the feelings in this particular interaction was way different than the others. The hope of seeing him again, which she would have buried deep down must have surfaced and reassured her that life is indeed full of such wonderful surprises!!
And what about Ulay? I loved the way he reassured her with the gentle nod and blink of his eye. It was like the most beautiful gift, an “All the best” wish he had planned for her.
I won’t really call this one a love story. It is an art of sorts, in every possible way. A moment, to be precise, where you understand a human heart. You simply feel the connection and the emotion life presents two people with. The bond build over the years, reaped with love, scarred by some conflicts, dusted with the long break, perhaps healed with time. Sometimes, one minute is more than enough to live it again.