By Aleksandra Aleksovska
“Turn off your phones, please live your cameras also, because you’re not allowed to take pictures or disturb the artists while they are performing.” These are the first words you hear at the beginning of the film, and already into the next sequence with the photography exhibition like a simple introduction about Ulay’s story.
Marina Abramovic said: ”It takes a long time, perhaps a life time to understand Ulay.” And if you are not familiar with this pioneer of body art and performances, it will take you a couple of hours to do the research and get the meaning of some sequences that are discovering his work and his personality.
Project Cancer is a film that contains a retrospective of the most significant moments from Ulay’s private and professional live. While you are watching you can notice that he is very sincere in front of the camera. All of the footage and pictures from his own performances, where usually he is naked or dressed up like a woman, talk a lot about his personal character and his artistic skills. In certain moments you will maybe feel that the presence of pain in what he is doing.
I like the part where he is explaining that the inspiration is always present in the society, because lot of changes and experiments are happening everyday around us. In this kind of thinking we can recognize also his passion to make eccentric and ingenious artistic performances.
The time when the documentary is filmed is covering on sensitive part of Ulay’s life, his fight with the cancer. You can pick up a lot of messages from his work, by behind the story for the artist that a lot of people admire, there is a man who is dealing with the fact that he may not win the battle with the illness.
You can connect with the main protagonist in this film because the director Damjan Kozole is giving him the freedom to lead the scenario and to show all of the beauty of his work.
If you have recently seen the “Artist is present” you should definitely see “Project Cancer” and you will finally get to know why the person in front of her made her cry and what is the meaning of his presence in her life.