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Marina Abramovic and Ulay, in kneeling position, press their mouths firmly together, while their nostrils are blocked with cigarette filters. Ulay breathes air from his mouth into Marina’s. Marina inhales the carbon dioxide that is released and breathes it back into Ulay’s mouth. This action is repeated until both artists almost collapse from lack of oxygen. Breathing out - Breathing in investigates the physical limitations of the body and depicts the dual relationship between man and woman. The performance has the intimacy of lovemaking but at the same time also shows its competitive and destructive side. Ambramovic and Ulay worked together from 1975 to 1988, creating performances that investigated their own physical boundaries. With their confrontational, physical actions, they aimed to stimulate their audience intellectually. Breathing out - Breathing in is a film recording of a 1977 performance commissioned by the Stedelijk Museum and carried out without an audience. It is the counterpart to Breathing in - Breathing out, which took place in Belgrade earlier that year, that time with an audience and captured on video in black and white.
c/o Pictoright Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Makers

Collection

Time-based media

Production date

1977

Library

Click here to view 8 related documents

Dimensions

17min.

Material

video, colour, sound

Object number

CA 19_23