du Preez/ Gui’ is a collaborative duo consisting of Nelmarie du Preez (b. 1985, South Africa) and Gui (b. 1984, USA). They have been living and working together for the past 15 years and their work blends different artistic media and disciplines with particular emphasis on technology and performance. Boundaries of self and other, which can be tested through interaction, form the foundation of their artistic approaches. For them ‘interactivity’ generates new meaning with regards to social constructions of the self and the other and creates space for bodies to meet/collide.


Nelmarie du Preez presents in collaboration with her performance partner Gui, a series of documented performances entitled Loops of Relation (2013). Taking inspiration from the collaborative works of Marina Abramovic and Ulay, du Preez being a performance artist and Gui being a computer, use their ‘bodies’ to explore the parameters that drive the dynamics of a symbiotic relationship. In a range of technological experiments/exercises/tests, their bodies are encountering each other within interactive loops.  Through their human-computer relationship they reveal questions with regards to ‘the self’ constituted by ‘the other’ in the mapping of relation.

In their first performances they re-interpret some of the works produced by performance artist Marina Abramovic and her former partner (in life and art) Ulay with specific focus on the Relation series (1976-1980) wherein they used their bodies to explore the boundaries of the human body and identity. They “tested the relation of male and female energies in time and space, pushing the limits of the body and self” (Electronic Art Intermix, n.a.). It is because of this strong emphasis on relation, that du Preez has chosen to re-interpret their work today in order to investigate the human-computer relationship and how it is able to constitute a reflection of ‘the self’ through ‘the other’. In these works she is however more concerned specifically with Marina’s role in their interactions and how she uses their collaboration as a way to constitute herself and being. Therefore du Preez also extend the work beyond the Relation series to include one of Marina’s solo performances entitled Rhythm 10 (1973) in order to bring to light my own search for self and being.

With a range of constructed and documented performances, the encounters and collisions between these two ‘bodies’ are presented, showcasing the fragility of relation.