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.