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Whispers: Ulay on Ulay

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  • First large monograph on this experimental artist
  • Provides new insights into his attitude, ways of working, early work and current endeavours
  • Ulays motto: Aesthetics without Ethics are Cosmetics
  • Award Dutch Best Book Designs 2015
  • Aica Award for best publication 2015

Authors: Maria Rus Bojan, Alessandro Cassin
Editor: Astrid Vorstermans
Contributors: Marina Abramović, Laurie Anderson, Timea Andrea Lelik, Tevž Logar, Thomas McEvilley, Charlemagne Palestine, Lena Pislak, John Reuter, Silvio Wolf
Design: Haller Brun

Table of contents (pdf)

2014, Valiz | supported by Mondriaan Foundation, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, MB Art Agency | hardcover | 536 pp. | 24 x 17 cm (h x w) | English | ISBN 978-90-78088-72-1


Frank Uwe Laysiepen (born 1943), better known as Ulay, has been a pioneer of Polaroid photography and one of the central figures of performance art since the 1970s. A singular presence among the artists of his generation, his radically innovative work, partly known for his twelve-year partnership with Marina Abramović, has received critical acclaim worldwide.
Whispers: Ulay on Ulay reveals an extremely innovative oeuvre that is coherently rooted in a personal life philosophy, which is guided by strong ethical principles. This book attempts to uncover the threads that weave the seemingly disparate aspects of his work into a fabric of passionate pursuits, driven by a rigorous inner necessity. ‘I have produced a very bizarre body of work,’ Ulay says of his artistic career, ‘I have experimented a lot. You have to if you are aiming at something that does not yet exist.’
This generous volume provides new insight into the attitude, ways of working, the early work and current endeavors of Ulay, based on findings by Maria Rus Bojan and an extensive interview with Alessandro Cassin.