Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight) (2014–2015) was a work of endurance performance art by Emma Sulkowicz, conducted as her senior thesis during the final year of her visual arts degree at Columbia University in New York City. Begun in September 2014, the piece involved her carrying a 50-lb mattress – of the kind Columbia uses in its dorms – wherever she went on campus. She said the piece would end when a student she alleges raped her in her dorm room in 2012 was expelled from or otherwise left the university. Sulkowicz carried the mattress until the end of the Spring semester as well as to her graduating ceremony in May 2015.
The student Sulkowicz accused was found "not responsible" in 2013 by a university inquiry into the allegations. He called Sulkowicz's accusation "untrue and unfounded" and Mattress Performance an act of bullying. Sulkowicz filed a police complaint in May 2014; the district attorney's office did not pursue criminal charges, citing a lack of reasonable suspicion.
The man was innocent. But then
On June 3, 2015, Sulkowicz released Ceci N'est Pas Un Viol ("This is not a rape"), an eight-minute video of herself having sex with an anonymous actor in a Columbia dorm room. The title of the piece is a reference to the caption in René Magritte's The Treachery of Images: "Ceci n'est pas une pipe." Introductory text by Sulkowicz stresses that the sex was consensual throughout, though toward the end it portrays resistance, violence and force. When the video was first posted, each screen displayed the timestamp of August 27, 2012, the night of the alleged assault, but later the date was blurred.
Emma Sulkowicz (born 1992) is the daughter of Sandra Leong and Kerry Sulkowicz, psychiatrists from Manhattan.
I am really surprised a Chinese woman would be so consistently crazy enough to do something like this. From my experience, Chinese Americans have their lives together the most of all Asian people. Filipinas have it together the least. I just couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a picture of mattress girl.