Emma Sulkowicz, a Columbia University student and rape survivor, has gone in a decidedly unusual direction for her senior thesis. Her project, which she refers to as an "endurance performance art piece," involves her carrying around her mattress for as long as she is forced to attend the same school as her rapist. She anticipates that this project could take anywhere from a day to graduation.
Having been assaulted in her own dorm room bed, Sulkowicz admits that the space has become laden with negativity. Moreover, she explains that she's had to "carry the weight" (also the unofficial title of the project) of her rape with her, a feeling she is physically expressing with the mattress.
Because the mattress is usually found in the bedroom, our most private, intimate sphere, Sulkowicz is making a powerful statement by bringing it out in public.
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