7 Great Artist Duos That Shaped Art History
Marina Abramovic’s and Ulay’s collaborative work often went
to extremes. Relation in Space was originally performed at the
38th Venice Biennale in 1976, where the two unclothed artists
walked toward and passed each other, slowly gaining momentum
and culminating in a violent clash. Presented in a Muybridge-like photographic format, Relation in Space powerfully captures the sequence of action in this groundbreaking performance.
This work belongs to the 1970s, when the mere presentation of the nude body in a simple action within an art context could elicit authentic excitement and even awe as the public confronted for the rst time
the radical possibility of the body’s visual, non-verbal, non-narrative communication. Relation in Space took fty-eight minutes to perform and remains a singular, unforgettable event in the history art. Relation in Space is one of a handful of unsurpassed actions in the history of Body Art’ (K. Stiles, ‘Cloud with its Shadow’, in K. Stiles, Marina Abramovic, London 2008, pp. 73-74).
Signature: Each photo stamped ‘Foto di Piccolo Sillani’ on the verso. Signed and numbered on the colophon page.
Image rights: Copyright the artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery
M. Abramovic & Ulay, Relation Work and Detour, Amsterdam 1980 (illustrated, pp. 20-25).
M. Abramovic , Artist Body: Performances 1969-1998, Milan 1998 (illustrated, pp. 130-7, 461).
K. Stiles, Marina Abramovic, London 2008 (illustrated, pp. 72 and 73). K. Biesenbach, Marina Abramovic, The Artist is Present, New York 2010 (illus. pp. 92-95).