在沿着这条隆起的巨龙行走不辍的时候，Marina Abramovic尤其被关于它的传奇故事打动；感染着她的，也许还有象银河般流淌的河流，和她所看到的针灸疗法的神奇。Marina Abramovic 和Ulay两个人同时对这个奇妙而又令人鼓舞的旅程赞赏不已。在那里，如同他们自己所说的那样，他们在寻找着的关于他们两人之间的关系的新表达式的同时，还试图去发现那些在西方文化中已经失落了的所有的东西。用Ulay的话来说，他们在找寻着与“大地母亲”的联结。
Especially Marina Abramovic is under the influence of the legendary
tales about the energy running along this spine of a dragon, or a
river representing the milky way, and connections she sees with
acupuncture. Both Marina Abramovic and Ulay expressed great
admiration for this strange and inspiring environment. As they where
looking for a new way of expressing their own relationship, at the
same time they tried to find all the things that, as they say, are
gone or lost in the western culture. To put it in Ulay's words they
were looking for contact with Mother Earth.
In reality things are never that simple in China, all the time they
were accompanied by officials. During most of the walk instead of
camping in the wild Ulay was put in hotels by the local officials.
Sometimes driving for hours to get to the hotel and back the next
morning. Marina Abramovic on the other end of the Wall managed to
keep closer to the Wall most of the time. Originally the plan was to
walk for a year but due to Chinese involvement they ended up walking
for only three months. They were not allowed by the Chinese
government to walk along the whole Wall, parts were skipped because
of military installations or other things the Chinese did not want
any foreigners to see. The project started with the title 'The
Lovers' and at the point where the two would meet a wedding was
planned. This wedding should put a crown on the series of
performances called Relations. The theme they have been working on
for a decade. Finally they met on June 27, 1988 at Er Lang Shan in
Shenmu in the province Shaanxi.
In China 在中国
In the same period Chinese artists are concerned with completely
different things. For instance the 1989 exhibition showing paintings
of nudes in the Beijing Museum of Fine Arts. This was for the first
time since the early years of this century anything so European was
shown in China. All of these paintings where female nudes, except
one, one brave male artist Guang Jun painted himself in the nude.
Interesting as that may be, I am not going to show you that, but I
want to go back to the Great Wall ones more.
Xu Bing 徐冰
Xu Bing was already a famous artist in China with 'A Book from the
Sky'. This is an Art project he worked on for years. Cutting
thousands of ineligible characters in wood blocks and printing them
in the old Chinese way. This work was exhibited in Beijing in
February 1989 and got at first very positive reviews.
Xu Bing and the Great Wall徐冰与长城
In May 1989 he was working on a new project. This is named 'Ghosts
Pounding the Wall'. He spends twenty-five days in Jinshanling to
make a rubbing of a part of the Great Wall. For this project he and
his co-workers used 300 bottles of ink and 1300 sheets of rice-paper
and tissue-paper. Special outfits were designed beforehand to wear
during the work. During the time he worked on the Wall, photographs,
videotapes and sound tapes were made. The result of all this
enormous effort was 1000 square meters of rubbings.
A rubbing is a typical Chinese technique of making an imprint. A
piece of paper is put on a surface and than rubbed with a ink pad.
So the hollows are white and the rest is black. In this way you get
a negative imprint of the surface.
The local people consider this stretch of the Great Wall more or
less part of their home, 'the side wall' as they call it. From that
perspective they named the artist and his friends working on the
rubbings 'paperhangers'. At first the locals never asked themselves
what the use would be, and later on as local people were hired and
worked with the artist nobody cared about the usefulness of this
Printing and its possibilities as the main theme for Xu Bing's work
Xu Bing was at that time a teacher of the Beijing Academy of Fine
Arts and was specialised in graphic techniques. In an interview he
explains his motives saying that he spends a lot of time thinking
about the process of printing, considering al possible materials and
ways of reproduction, and maybe most important to him the meaning
behind al this. He tried all forms of printing. He remembered the
many different shaped rocks in his home province that to him was the
most impressive form of natures imprint. That vision gave him the
idea to make use of the traces left by history and nature on the
Great Wall, making it into a giant reproduction of former times.