When artist Marina Abramovic presented her exhibit, The Artist Is Present, at the Museum of Modern Art in 2010, she left many viewers emotional. There was one famous moment, however, that also brought her to tears.
For the display, spectators were expected to sit in silence across from Abramovic as they stared at each other. One day, Abramovic’s ex-boyfriend/artist Ulay unexpectedly showed up.
The exhibit was the first time they had seen each other since they went their separate ways in 1988. While reunions between loved ones are often heartwarming, this one is one-of-a-kind.
The two had a relationship in the ’70s and ’80s, but bid farewell after a trip to the Great Wall of China. The couple symbolically ended their union by walking from opposite ends of the famous landmark and meeting each other at a certain point to say goodbye forever (or so she thought).
“We needed a certain form of ending, after this huge distance walking towards each other. It is very human. It is in a way more dramatic, more like a film ending,” she said of the goodbye. “Because in the end we both would be really alone, whatever we would do.”
Their emotional reactions hint that their love must’ve been strong. (The 2:29 mark is even more passionate!)