Willow Smith has spoken of her lifelong anxiety on various episodes of the Facebook Watch series “Red Table Talk.” Now, the multi-hyphenate artist will bring awareness to issue with a new performance art piece at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.
Smith, 19, and her rumored boyfriend, musician Tyler Cole, are teaming up for a 24-hour exhibit beginning Wednesday at 9p.m. PDT. Titled “The Anxiety,” the duo will lock themselves inside a box on display for visitors to observe. A post by Cole to his Instagram reveals the performance’s flyer which is being billed as “A personification of the emotional spectrum within the human mind through performance art.”
The Los Angeles Times reports the durational performance piece will feature the creative duo “cycling through emotions such as paranoia, rage, sadness, numbness, euphoria, strong interest, compassion and acceptance.”
The duo will be separated from onlookers by a glass wall, while the remaining three sides of “the box” will be made of canvas that the pair intends to paint and write over with affirmations.
Smith told the paper that she and Cole won’t be speaking to each other during the exhibit, but will use other ways to communicate.
“We might grunt or scream — it’s going to be very primal.”
One thing that won’t be primal are the bathroom breaks. When nature does call, the duo plans to step outside of the box with an agreement not to leave the space for more than two minutes per break.
Visitors will be allowed to observe the artists for 15 minutes, exiting into an ancillary space filled with self-help books, stations to donate to mental health organizations and live video feeds of the performance for further viewing.
And, while Smith and Cohen also have an accompanying album — also titled “The Anxiety” — dropping this Friday, the “Whip My Hair” singer insists the timing for the performance piece reflects the layered nature of the work the duo is creating.
“This is not so that people are like, ‘Oooh!’ This is for awareness,” Smith told The Times. “The first thing we’re going to be writing on our title wall is something along the lines of: ‘The acceptance of one’s fears is the first step toward understanding.’ So then you know this is on something real. This is for a real cause.”
“We’re on this planet and anything could happen, like the thing that just happened with Kobe [Bryant]? That was really a knife in the heart,” she added. “Every moment is precious. And I think everyone has a fear of just not knowing what’s going to happen in the future, not knowing if you’re on the right path, not knowing if you’re making the right choices.”
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