“Take me with you: a human backpack” 2017, an interactive performance.
In this piece, I made a wooden backpack and squeezed my body in it. I displayed myself in the backpack on a pedestal, waiting to be taken and carried. This act of objectifying myself makes me a vulnerable and petty figure. From my perspective as a performer, I was testing people’s reactions and behaviors when encountering other’s vulnerability. I did not expect a certain reaction from the viewers, I simply waited and listened as a still object.
This piece is a literal interpretation of the act of putting other’s’ weight on one’s shoulder. For the viewers, the abstract idea of taking responsibility for other’s emotional baggage is displayed in concrete visual forms. During the performance, some of the viewers observed former away; some quietly debated if they should actually pick me up off the pedestal; very few of them pulled the ropes and wondered if they were strong enough to hold my weight. Till the end, no one carried me. The viewers’ reactions are the most crucial to this piece because they accurately described what people say behind a vulnerable and petty person’s back. Besides me, everyone at the performance space is part of piece.