artist / participant

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press release

City Art Gallery Ljubljana

Frank Uwe Laysiepen - Ulay: I Other
Exhibition: December 1. 2016 - February 8. 2017
Opening and performance: Thursday, 1 December at 7 p.m.
at Mestna galerija Ljubljana

Active on the international art scene since the late 1960s, Frank Uwe Laysiepen, better known as Ulay, has been featured in numerous group shows and a number of solo exhibitions, yet his I Other exhibition at the City Art Gallery Ljubljana is his first major solo presentation in the region. The exhibition starts with some of the key works in Ulay’s oeuvre, in which the artist focuses on his own body and its social alienation, and then goes on to engage us in a fascinating dialogue with presentations of his relations to his fellow humans, be it close friends or complete strangers.

Active on the international art scene since the late 1960s, Frank Uwe Laysiepen, better known as Ulay, has been featured in numerous group shows and a number of solo exhibitions, yet his I Other exhibition at the City Art Gallery Ljubljana is his first major solo presentation in the region. The exhibition starts with some of the key works in Ulay’s oeuvre, in which the artist focuses on his own body and its social alienation, and then goes on to engage us in a fascinating dialogue with presentations of his relations to his fellow humans, be it close friends or complete strangers, in keeping with the underlying conceptual premise of the show: to present Ulay’s work through the prism of his interpersonal relations, which constitute an integral part of his artistic practice.

In addition to certain projects that now form part of the canon of performance art and photography, the exhibition also puts on view the unknown, ephemeral documents of Ulay’s long career in art, showcasing often ignored artistic materials such as journals, drawings, travel photography, sound recordings, and so on. The I Other exhibition and catalogue constitute a space where the artist’s story can be read, a story of his incessant, untiring search for his identity, torn between diverse symbolic worlds, people, places, and media. Ulay’s life experiences are recorded in photographs, performances, drawings, anecdotes, and aphorisms, showing how he forges a relationship with every individual that enters his space.

While often very intimate, and intimately revealing in nature, Ulay’s works and projects nonetheless keep confronting viewers with social reality, indirectly expressing the artist’s standpoint on broader social issues. Ulay’s art can thus be said to be a highly insightful description of interpersonal relations in different times and places. I Other addresses the viewer with that which is all too often pushed away as “unattractive” and concealed behind the “notorious” and familiar images of Ulay’s artistic idiom, while it nonetheless directly expresses his uncompromising attitude to life itself.

Curated by: Alenka Gregorič and Tevž Logar