Ulay "Fototot"

Ulay "Fototot"

de Appel, Brouwersgracht 196, Amsterdam

'I had nine large format photographic images put up on the wall in an art context [of De Appel], so the audience that came to the opening was prepared to deal with works of art on the wall. I had yellow-green lights arranged all around, just bright enough for the spectators to find minimal orientation for entering the space. And there were these nine life-size images on three walls. The moment the audience had gathered, we turned on the exhibition light, the halogen light. The images had not been fixed and were put up on the wall wet; because of the power of the light they would lose the images and turn deeper into black in no time. While that was happening, the audience became very nervous and very surprised. I recorded the process and their reaction in additional photographs.

Then De Appel closed for the summer. When it opened again the first exhibition was the follow-up of Fototot. There was a reading table in the middle of the room, the black images from the first show were hanging on the wall, a reading light stood on the table, a documentary portfolio lay open on the table, there was a dim yellow-green light again for direction. So the audience came in, drawn to the reading table; somebody would turn on the reading light, would open the portfolio. But the photographs had not been fixed either. While someone was reading through, it turned into black pages. That was Fototot. For me it was a finish to the whole photographic issue. The next step would be performance.'

(Ulay in an interview with Thomas McEvilley in The First Act, Ostfildern 1994.)

Ulay – Fototot 2

archive, 1976

See also