Mattress Performance: “Carry That Weight”


Emma Sulkowicz
American, (1992- )
Carry That Weight 
Endurance Performance Art Piece,
Columbia University (2014-2015)

Emma Sulkowicz was a senior at Columbia University when this photo was taken of her endurance performance art work was ongoing. The work, which took place from the fall  semester of her senior year, which began in September 2014 and continued until her graduation in May of 2015,

Emma was raped on her first day as a sophomore year at college. After this horrible event took place, she went into terrible depression: shaking at night as the thoughts of that scary moment continued to live in her mind. But thedays of letting her past haunt her were no more as she began her senior thesis: “Carry That Weight.” This mattress performance is a piece of art/protest about Emma carrying a mattress, similar to the one she was raped on, around Columbia University campus until her rapist gets expelled from school. Carrying the twin mattress displays it being easy enough to carry throughout the day but heavy enough to continue to struggle with. The work of art helps bring her privacy to the public. Sadly, this was not enough to get her rapist expelled.

Keyshawn Garrett

For a farther look into Ms. Sulkowicz’s “Mattress Performance: Carry That Weight”