Columbia rape victim:The former Columbia University student who famously carried a mattress around campus to draw attention to her alleged rape is back with yet another piece of provocative performance art.
On the surface, Emma Sulkowicz’s latest art project has a lot more to do with sex as opposed to politics than her previous one; in the middle of an art gallery, the 24-year-old was tied up with rope while wearing just a bikini, then beaten with a belt by a man she called ‘Master’.
But according to Emma, the play-acting S&M, however overtly sexual it might have appeared, was just a metaphor — for the inability of art to flourish under the Trump administration.
He tied her up and bound her to a beam of wood hanging from the ceiling
Emma first rose to national prominence in 2014 while she was a fourth-year student at Columbia.
Columbia rape victim:At the time, she accused a fellow classmate of raping her in her dorm room, bringing the charges to the attention of the university. Two other women also brought formal complaints against the accused, but in hearings, the school found the male student to be ‘not responsible’.
Emma was also part of a larger complaint filed later against the university, alleging that it had mishandled sexual assault cases.
Columbia rape victim:To bring even more attention to her situation, she staged a piece of performance art called Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight), in which she carried a 50lbs twin-sized mattress — like the one she claims she was raped on — around campus.
Now, in her latest piece, she is only playing the victim.
Shown at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space and documented by a reporter at Broadly, the performance kicked off with a pink-haired Emma standing in her section of the gallery in heels and a coat.