We’ve all heard the incredible story of the art power couple, Marina Abramović and Ulay. The two performance art icons spent a decade together, as lovers and performance partners. Even the very end of their relationship was turned into a work of art. They created a piece called ‘Lovers’ in 1988 and shared their breakup on the Great Wall of China with the whole world.
In 2010, a bit over 30 years after their long love affair ended dramatically, Abramović performed The Artist Is Present, an incredible 736-hour-and-30-minute piece.
She was sitting at a table in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, inviting the audience to sit opposite her and share a minute of silence. To everyone’s surprise, Ulay showed on opening night. They hadn’t seen each another since they walked the length of China’s Great Wall and met in the middle for a goodbye embrace.
With tears in their eyes, without saying a word, the couple sat together for a minute, holding hands. Once again, they became a unified art piece. Their encounter was so inspiring that Jon Burr, How I Became the Bomb’s vocalist, felt the need to write a beautiful love song about it.
I was fortunate enough to wander into the MoMA just in time for ‘The Artist Is Present’. Equal parts unsettling, absurd, and profound; I couldn’t shake the experience. Later, I stumbled onto the video wherein Ulay and Marina reunite and was overwhelmed with only one sentiment: this is a song,
‘Ulay, Oh’ came out as the second single off the band’s EP Adonis. The video combines MoMA’s footage of this emotional, artistic reunion with heartfelt lyrics and catchy tunes, and the result is breathtaking.
The song’s lyrics are the band’s unique take on this extraordinary love story, with hints about the couple’s unparalleled relationship and shocking breakup.
There they were like the picture. There they were, they were just the same. There they were, but he walked away and her eyes could only say Ulay, Ulay, Oh.
How I Became the Bomb’s ‘Ulay, Oh’ music video went viral, and it’s been viewed over 35 million times so far. Follow the link below to see it!