Who: Marina Abramovic (artist)
When: Museum of Modern Art, 2010
The Backstory: Marina did a performance at MOMA where she would sit in a chair and one by one, people would come sit at a table with her. She would open her eyes and they would stare at each other for a small amount of time. Even with strangers, the connection between humans is interesting to watch.
But then a man named Ulay shows up. Ulay was a former lover of Marina’s in the 70s. Their backstory? They decided to end the relationship when they felt they were drifting apart. As one last goodbye to each other, they decided to each walk from separate ends of the Great Wall of China, meet in the middle for one last hug and then walk away, planning on never seeing each other again.
But Ulay shows up to MOMA and their connection is instant. Both of them start to break down in tears and it feels like you can almost see an entire relationship between them in just one minute. Their chemistry and the tension they create in the room is indescribable. Marina finally reaches out for Ulay’s hand and they touch for just a short amount of time and once again, they part.
I don’t know how many times I’ve rewound that minute and thirty seconds. Probably too many. It just made me think, how many people in my life would that happen to me with? Sure there are some people in your life that come and go and when you reunite with them, it’s nice and pleasant and you maybe smile. But how many people would make you cry on impact of seeing them again? How many people would stun you into silence?
Those are the people we have to try and hold onto. Those are the people who actually made an impact.