Choose to be Vulnerable
Performance duration June 21st- July 3rd, 2023
At the core of our vulnerability are usually fears, regrets, secrets, and shame. How we feel about these things makes us feel like we are able to be wounded because it potentially exposes our weaknesses. Our fear that others will find out about these weaknesses and use them against us to hurt us, to humiliate us, or to control us forces them to hide behind their vulnerability, which only serves to fortify and support the negative thoughts and feelings that make them feel those vulnerabilities. Whether they were intended to hide or suppress a vulnerability, or to overcome or make the vulnerabilities impotent, they still generate essential modifications that have led us to who we are now and who we become.
The way we handle these vulnerabilities can determine how these evolutions affect our sense of self. They can reinforce the dark, negative feelings. But we are creatures of emotions, whether we want to admit it or not. In general, we do not always know why we feel vulnerable, and that makes it even harder to address the cause. Being able to embrace and explore the feelings and events that make us feel our vulnerability helps us to clarify and understand how those feelings affect us and why. By allowing the audience to participate in this performance it gives, not only a safe space to interact with me, but also a space to relieve these vulnerabilities without judgment. Having myself blindfolded and by not allowing myself to speak gives the participants a means to come to terms with their own vulnerabilities without judgement. No way to see them, giving anonymity, and no verbal response meaning they may speak to me without fear of reaction. This makes me a conduit for others to use, they must approach and tell me, then allow me to transcribe onto a garment.
As a conduit my purpose is to record these confessions onto dresses, I have hanging within the gallery space, and I will be wearing them out in my day-to-day life and switch the dresses with corresponding themes as they fill up with abstracted text. This does two things. One represents that I carry these vulnerabilities with me even outside the gallery walls. And two, a way to show that these things that burden us are just words and emotions that we may overcome. The mirrored wall behind me acts as a distortion of self, the closer one approaches the clearer the image becomes, meaning the audience must come to terms with themselves and their vulnerability as they come to speak to me.
During the times when no one is around I write on the walls, asemic writing, getting out a flow of thoughts. These writings will be a flow of thoughts surrounding the idea of vulnerability, my relationship with vulnerability, and the experiences of doing this performance piece. Even when someone is not within the space to participate there is still an action or scribble of the artist’s hand meaning the space is never truly inactive. My hope is that the viewer will leave acknowledging their emotions and self, leave empowered, and a feeling of release. To quote Criss Jami, “To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.”