Exhibition Dates: 27 October – 16 December 2017
Venue: Cooper Gallery, DJCAD, Dundee
Preview: Thursday 26 October 2017, 5.30–7.30pm
With four words so you see me, Ulay, one of the most significant performance artists in recent art history, defines an urgent zone of radical acts and words.
Since the 1970s, Ulay has gained international recognition for his experimentation in photography and action works, and his ground-breaking collaborative works with Marina Abramovi?. Situated at the intersection of photography, performance and critical interventions, Ulay’s unique artistic practice examines the physical, emotional and ethical limits of the individual and gendered self, whilst affirming ‘the social’ as the primary means of ascribing meaning to everyday life.
Marking out the trajectory of Ulay’s work as a philosophical and creative “practice of thinking and inhabiting” that uses the body as the starting point for interrogating the meaning of the human condition, ‘self-other’ dynamics and ‘vulnerability as a form of resistance’, so you see me addresses profound implications of the ethical functions of art. Seen against the uncertainties marking contemporary politics, Ulay’s practice radically restates the ethical, moral and political discourses underscoring alternative politics and their modes of resistance.
Pioneering the use of Polaroid photography in the 1970s, Ulay interrogated the body and its appearance to the other through “performative photography”. In Pa’Ulay (1973-74), part of the Renais Sense series, Ulay joins his face to that of his then partner, Paula Françoise-Piso. A seminal example of his highly celebrated Auto-Polaroids, the combination of his own body with the body parts of others produces images with an urgency keyed by their medium, the Polaroid.