Abramovic et Ulay

Modus vivendi, 1985

Abramovic et Ulay
Modus vivendi
Dimensions and medium
2 colour Polaroïd prints, 226.1 × 111.1 cm (each element)
Artwork description
The photographic diptych titled Modus vivendi is related to a series of performances of the same name by Abramovic and Ulay created during the first half of the 1980s. Using the still-evolving technology of Polaroid photography, Abramovic and Ulay created life-size photographs that froze, in the immediacy of the process, moments in which they embody male and female archetypes. On the left, visible through a velum embellished with vegetative motifs, a woman from an unknown era, dressed in a long white gown, evokes the fecundity of life with hieratic grace. On the right, a man dressed in black sits on a large box of disposable diapers, an essential product of our modern consumer lives. Positioned before a startling drawing of Siamese skeletons, the powerless procreator contemplates the monstrosity of infant mortality.

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