There are people and moments in life that root deep into the heart and live there forever.
This understanding came to me after watching Marina Abramovic’s intense moment of reunion with her former partner and collaborator Ulay, at her 2010 MoMa show.
An amazing expressionist and performance artist, Marina becomes transparent during that part of the performance.
In what I would interpret as a participatory experience, she connects with individual members of the audience with no physical contact other than eye to eye communication. She is then deeply and visibly touched when unbeknownst to her, Ulay steps in and participates in the eye to eye experience after not seeing each other for years.
Having done this eye to eye exercise before, I understood the deep human connection that can be gestated with this experience. Eye to eye contact is not a normal practice in our every day life. We hide behind evasive looks and avoid that intimate connection. Perhaps to avoid revealing our true thoughts and feelings, to remain at a distance from one another, unemotionally present and unconnected.
To watch the performance, I was deeply moved myself. Not because I was mentally aware of what was occurring but because the act brought to the forefront my own emotions from the past. Emotions that allowed me to connect to Marina and Ulay on various levels. My own personal experiences served as a vehicle to feel with them. My emotions, though perhaps not the same as theirs, allowed me to share the intimacy of the moment. The instances when life brought me to events that joined me to them, and their moment of reunion, also connected us as human beings. This experience brought to mind that there are people and moments in life that root deep into the heart and live there forever.