Da ist eine kriminelle Berührung in der Kunst. Video of the performance (1976).
Ulay, Da ist eine kriminelle Berührung in der Kunst. Still from the video of the performance, Berlin (1976). Courtesy of LIMA Amsterdam.
Born 1943 in Solingen (DE). Lives in Amsterdam
(NL) and Ljubljana (SL).
Ulay is a pioneer of body art, performance art
and Polaroid art, as well as an internationally travelled social activist. He
has been realizing performances and actions since the 1960s and worked in the
fields of experimental photography, film and environment until 1975. From 1976
to 1989 he worked together with Serbian-born artist Marina Abramović, with many
of their collaborative performance works reaching an iconic status. The
conceptual backbone of all his work is represented by the relationship
body-space-society, as well as to undertake a thematic search to understand the
notions of identity and the body on both personal and communal levels.
The VENICE INTERNATIONAL
PERFORMANCE ART WEEK shows the video Da
ist eine kriminelle Berührung in der Kunst, documenting the carefully
planned, executed and documented live event with political background that Ulay
carried out in Berlin in 1976. He stole the painting Der arme Poet by Carl Spitzweg from the Neue National Galerie, to
then drive it through the city, and finally hang it on the living-room wall of
the home of a Turkish migrant family in Berlin close to the Künstlerhaus
Bethanien. Der arme Poet had a
special reputation in Germany, as it was the most expensive and famous work
regarded as an icon of German national pride. By transferring it from the Neue National Galerie to the working-class dwelling of a Turkish
migrant family, Ulay meant to expose the attitude of German nationalists
towards Turkish immigration in Germany. Prosecuted for this action, Ulay had to
choose between a prison sentence or a punitive sanction, and consequently
left Germany for good.
Courtesy of LIMA, Amsterdam.
© Venice International Performance Art Week 2012-2014