Mia Florentine Weiss has spent 10 years of her life researching what all people have in common. In that research, she asked everyone she met a simple yet multi-layered question: “What is your place of protection?”
This question forces us to seriously reflect upon the possible dimensions of our feeling of security—something we homeless citizens of the globe rarely think about. The performance artist has condensed the results of her project What Is Your Place of Protection? into 54 digital film clips. One of the most common answers she received from people of all continents was: “My bed!”
The world in bed? Weiss’s interpretation of this notion suggests a multi-medial apocalypse of the last retreat in our slowly eroding private sphere. What allows us our undisturbed slumber is already a utopia. Peace (both freedom from war and freedom from noise) keeps vigil over us as we sleep. The bed is the last bulwark of human security. But what has happened to it?
With her performances, Weiss calls into question the fragile social contract of our globalised world that is making us so sleepless. Inspired by the (occasionally literally) winged poetry of human vulnerability, Mia Florentine Weiss offers in her works stimulating perspectives for new insights that mirror the inescapable relationship we have to our beds, with all its comprehensive social and anthropological contradictions—life/death, security/vulnerability, health/illness, longing/addiction, freedom/compulsion, intimacy/distance. The overstimulation resulting from the omnipresence of digital media today has reached the point where our most cherished retreat—the bed—has mutated into a multimedia stronghold.
During her upcoming performance DIGITAL AUTISM, Weiss is going to stay in bed. And as if digitally infected by autism, she will not speak with the exhibition spectators directly, but only through the internet. She eagerly awaits our personal answers to the question “what is your place of protection?” via email. The digital dialogues are thus a continuation of that eponymous video installation.
The Bed of Peace used here for the performance ‘escaped’ from the solitary confinement cell of a jail in Kassel where Weiss’s earlier performance My Body Is My Shield took place. Photos of that performance as well as a presentation of Weiss’s video installation Breathing Nothing—during which Weiss spent 24 hours locked up in solitary confinement—will also be shown at the exhibition Peace Never Sleeps. To read the full performance process check out:
digital autism / documentary film