Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
Well, it’s been a while since I posted an update on Columbia student, Emma Sulkowicz and her performance art thesis. So here you go.
I’m sure we all know how much I love art with a message. When I first learned of performance art I knew it was for me. It’s bold, evocative, racy, profane (in some instances), and for lack of a better word- ballsy. It highlights issues faced by people every day and it focuses you to reflect internally about what is happening in your own mind, body, life, and world. When I first hear of Emma Sulkowicz’s thesis I was intrigued instantly. It commands attention and draws a diverse audience with a common thread- prevention of sexual assault on college campuses and prosecution of those who commit offenses.
According to artnet she’s sparked a movement across the world. “On October 29, mattresses were held aloft at 130 college campuses in more than 30 states and five countries, from Hungary’s Central European University to Berkeley in California, as participants “carry that weight together” joined forces to send a message that sexual assault will not be tolerated.” I give Emma and those who joined the movement on Oct. 29th a lot of credit. I went to a big football and party school where a lot of things were swept under the rug by boards and presidents. And in a world of Jameis Winstons and Treon Harris, justice may only come when the community, and world, is no longer able to “turn a blind eye”.
Taking a stand like these individuals did is not only brave, but necessary. An artistic decision has sparked this movement and it doesn’t seem like the fire is dying out any time soon.