Marina Abramović (b. 1946, Belgrade) is a Yugoslav performance artist based in New York. Her work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the mind. Her work often involves putting herself in grave danger and performing lengthy, harmful routines that result in her being cut or burnt, or enduring some privation. She views her art almost as a sacrificial and religious rite, performed for a congregation of viewers, by exploring themes such as trust, endurance, cleansing, exhaustion, and departure.
Ulay (b. 1943, Solingen) is the pseudonym of Frank Uwe Laysiepen. Ulay was formally trained as a photographer, and in the early period of his artistic activity (1968-1976) he undertook a thematic search for understandings of the notions of identity and the body on both the personal and communal levels, mainly through series of Polaroid photographs, aphorisms and intimate performances. From 1976 to 1988, he collaborated with Marina Abramović on numerous performances; their work focused on questioning perceived masculine and feminine traits and pushing the physical limits of the body (Relation Works).