Ulay - Polaroids
In January 2016, the Nederlands Fotomuseum and the Rabo Art Collection will present an exhibition built around the life-sized Polaroid works of Ulay. In parallel with the development of the concept for the exhibition Ulay – Polaroids, the Nederlands Fotomuseum is launching a research project on the restoration and preservation of Polaroids. The starting point will be the Ulay Polaroids held by the Rabo Art Collection.
Frits Gierstberg (curator of the Nederlands Fotomuseum) and Katrin Pietsch (conservationist at the Nederlands Fotomuseum) will be developing this project in cooperation with Ulay himself.
Maria Rus Bojan, curator and co-author of Whispers: Ulay on Ulay (with Alessandro Cassin) will be involved as a consultant on the project.
Ulay is the pseudonym of Frank Uwe Laysiepen. Trained as a photographer, he worked as a consultant for Polaroid between 1968 and 1971. Since then he has divided his time between Amsterdam and Ljubljana. He is perhaps best known for his performances in the 1970s and his intensive cooperation with Marina Abramović from 1976 to 1988. Photography has always played a central role in his work and was a salient element in his performances. By the late 1970s Ulay had developed the concept of performative photography.
After parting ways with Abramović, he focused fully on photography and his technical knowledge of the Polaroid made him a specialist in this photographic niche. Research into technique, content and form, as well as preservation, within this medium fascinate him, and these are the foundation of the project that the Nederlands Fotomuseum is developing for 2016 in cooperation with the Rabo Art Collection and Ulay.
The exhibition will also be supplementing the recently published retrospective Whispers: Ulay on Ulay (VALIZ) with a smaller publication on technique, preservation and restoration of the Polaroids.
With the grateful acknowledgment of: Ministry of Education, Culture and Science | Municipality of Rotterdam | BankGiro Loterij | Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds| Wertheimer Fonds | OVG | Port of Rotterdam |