-do not lose your willingness to be vulnerable because it encompasses what you have to offer the world
-ok. but i think i have a lot more to offer than that
to not be dependent on pills for the sake of sanity.
i would like to go off of everything, because being sane is not that great. it is about as great as gaining 10 pounds the week of your period. because if my mental state wasn’t bothering me enough, i now hate my body even more than i did last week, and the one before. i feel uncomfortable everywhere i go and with every new friend or old friend that i meet up with. i look at pictures of myself and am completely ashamed regardless of if i was having a good time. i am over the medications. i am over the consistent lack of control over my body. i am over none of my clothes fitting and not wanting to go anywhere because of it. i am over being dependent on undependable things.
the notebook problem: you see a notebook. you want to buy the notebook. but you know you have like TEN OTHER NOTEBOOKS. most which are STILL EMPTY. you don’t need to notebook. you’re probably not gonna use the notebook anyway. what’s the point? DONT BUY THE NOTEBOOK. you buy the notebook.
Marina Abramović, “Rhythm 0,” 1974
Marina Abramović is best known for her performance pieces, in which she tries to explore what is possible for an artist to do in the name of art. Her best known piece was the recent “The Artist Is Present,” in which she sat motionless for 736.5 hours over the course of three months, inviting visitors to sit opposite her and make eye contact for as long as they wanted. So many people began spontaneously crying across from her that blogs and Facebook groups were set up for those people.
Her bravest piece, however, is my favorite. This piece was primarily a trust exercise, in which she told viewers she would not move for six hours no matter what they did to her. She placed 72 objects one could use in pleasing or destructive ways, ranging from flowers and a feather boa to a knife and a loaded pistol, on a table near her and invited the viewers to use them on her however they wanted.
Initially, Abramović said, viewers were peaceful and timid, but it escalated to violence quickly. “The experience I learned was that … if you leave decision to the public, you can be killed… I felt really violated: they cut my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the public. Everyone ran away, escaping an actual confrontation.”
This piece revealed something terrible about humanity, similar to what Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment or Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Experiment, both of which also proved how readily people will harm one another under unusual circumstances.
This performance showed just how easy it is to dehumanize a person who doesn’t fight back, and is particularly powerful because it defies what we think we know about ourselves. I’m certain that no one reading this believes the people around him/her capable of doing such things to another human being, but this performance proves otherwise.
Edit: Several commenters have pointed out that I’ve overlooked an important variable here: gender. They are right; I imagine that a lot of the dehumanization inherent in this performance is related to the gender of the artist. I am sure that people would have reacted differently to an utterly non-responsive male than they did to Abramović.