Ex-Lovers Sit in Silence When They See Each Other

Entire wars have been waged over this idea of love

The First Time In 30 Years
Love. That one thing that most of us have longed for, discovered, lost, found again, lost again. It’s one of the most complicated things in the world, and many people spend their entire lives trying to figure it all out. It causes us to act in ways that we wouldn’t normally act, causes us to do things we wouldn’t normally do, and leaves such a lasting mark on us that entire wars have been waged over this idea of love.

The love between two people manifests uniquely each time. A sign resting on my former girlfriend’s dresser used to remind me of this each time I awoke in her room; painted on this wooden plank was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s musing, “There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.”

Meet artists Marina Abramovic and her ex-lover, Ulay. In the 1970s, Marina and Ulay were lovers, but could not stay together. The end of their relationship was just as powerful and unique as had been the rest of their affair. Remaining true to the artist within both of them, they chose to end their relationship in a symbolic fashion. They went to opposite ends of the Great Wall of China and then walked toward each other, meeting in the middle. Once they met in the middle, they gave one final embrace and then parted ways, never to see each other again.

More than 30 years later, Marina was holding a live art performance during which she spent one minute in silence with the complete strangers that were attending. After staring at many people from the audience, one man in particular seemed to have captured Marina’s being. The moment they shared was different from the others. Because the man sitting in front of her, sharing Marina’s tearful expression, was that man she had left on the Great Wall of China more than 30 years ago.

Watch this charged moment between Marina and Ulay, the lovers who parted ways never knowing if they’d see one another again.


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