Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Melissa Ichiuji: Stripped in D.C.

Melissa Ichiuji, a Corcoran art student, is on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., until 6 P.M. tonight. According to the Washington Post article, "The Art of Nothing":

She's just a performance artist in the final 36 hours of "Stripped," her performance piece (or "non-performance" piece, as she calls it). It is the last leg of a month-long journey toward little and less, and, in these final hours, public privation.

Curious passersby don't know what to make of Melissa Ichiuji's silence and serenity on a downtown corner. And, although she is discreet, pulling the ends of her white blanket fully around her form, they are quite thrown by the public urination.

The piece began in January when Ichiuji -- a married third-year Corcoran student in her late thirties from Front Royal, Va. -- started giving up things: coffee, television, soda and medication, followed in February by fast food and alcohol. As the seasons changed, she gave up cosmetics and chocolate, meat and magazines. Since the beginning of May, she's had: no newspapers, no music, no mirrors, no cell phone, no e-mail, no driving, no sex, no books, no family or friends or running water. No appliances, no speech, no clocks, no shoes, no food, no shelter. The idea is to let go of things that matter to the woman as a meditation on what matters most to the artist and, by extension, the audience.

"How much would you have to lose to appreciate what you have?" ask the postcards in front of her display.

This page on her website is a virtual flyer, with a list of things she has given up:

Impressive, but I'd be more impressed if she kept the digital cable, and her list went something like this:


...and not least important...

The need for attention

View photos of her non-performance here.


SugarDuck said...

when will the newspapers learn: if you write an article about her you will only encourage her.

please people! only by coming together to studiously ignore bad art will we make it go away!

Canowine said...

I'm down with that! It would have been easier for us if she just did this at a monastery or a mountain, though.

I'm tempted to go down there right now with a slingshot and start aiming for her strategically clear pee bottles.

Arethusa said...

Everyone knows mirrors are a source of anger and hate!

HANS said...

i'm with you on that one canowine. let's break some glass.

Canowine said...

I don't know, arethusa. I think your mirror is a source of coolness. Mine is obviously a source of kiss ass.

Now, that would be art.

Anonymous said...

talk about anger and hate!!! What a dumb ass you are!!!

Canowine said...

anonymous: Calm down, hater!

The Keoki said...

hey anonymous, crap is crap even if it's artsy fartsy crap! there's no hate here, only fact.