Rape is a crime that we are all familiar with. These days however, it seems as though this violent act is overlooked when cried out by young women. Although rape seems very common, it is unusual seeing a girl carry around a mattress because of it.
When and how it happened, whom the perpetrator was; when information is given there is no accurate response if the person involved will be given punishment for the scarring he/she has done (let’s be honest, men can be raped as well). In some cases regarding the rape of a person, it is not always a guaranteed that the person responsible for the violent action, will be punished for what he/she has done. Not all, but very few cases this situation comes about. When justice is not being served for the violent action thou has committed, it might leave the victim terrified to continue living and walking within the same territory as their rapist.
Columbia University’s visual arts’ major Emma Sulkowicz was raped on her first day of her sophomore year by her classmate on her very own mattress.
Ever since the rape took place, she has carried the same mattress around everywhere she goes as a sign of the “weight of what happened there.” Sulkowicz entitles this performance as “Mattress Performance/Carry That Weight” as a literal expression of thee emotional weight of what happened to her and she looks at this as an “endurance art piece” as she will drag her mattress everywhere she goes on campus until her rapist is expelled or leaves. She states that this project can go on for days, or for the remainder of her time at Columbia University.
Sulkowicz has partaken in numerous interviews. A video of one particular can be found below. “The past year or so of my life has been really marked by telling people what happened in that most intimate private space and bringing it out into the light,” she says. “So I think the act of carrying something that is normally found in our bedroom out into the light is supposed to mirror the way I’ve talked to the media and talked to different news channels, etc.” (credited from huffingtonpost.com)