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Photo: Felix Grünschloß (© ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe)

ULAY
Uwe Laysiepen held a professorship for Media Art at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design from 1998 to 2004.
His artistic radicalism, his open-minded spirit still characterizes the self-image of our university today.

We, who have experienced him, who have been able to work and laugh with him, we miss him.


The performance artist Ulay was born in Solingen in 1943 as Frank Uwe Laysiepen. In the early phase of his artistic activity he experimented with the medium of photography in a performative form. In Polaroid series and performances at the beginning of the 1970s he dealt with the themes of identity and the body on a personal and social level. Together with the artist Marina Abramović he created numerous performances such as "Relation Works", in which they questioned gender attributions and expanded the physical boundaries of the body.
In recent years, Ulay has mainly been involved in projects and artistic initiatives that promote awareness of water as a resource.

Ulay's work and his collaboration with his former partner Marina Abramović can be found in many collections of important art institutions around the world, such as the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Centre Pompidou Paris or the Museum of Modern Art New York.

After several artistic projects in India, Australia and China and a professorship at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, Ulay lived and worked most recently in Amsterdam and Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Ulay died on March 2nd 2020 at the age of 76 in Ljubljana.

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