"Beat Me Beat Me Make Me Better"
Stones, Cement, Plaster
In someone’s eyes, we are seen as an untouched block of marble or heap of clay, just waiting to be shaped into a beautiful work of art: a masterpiece in the making. However, when an artist wants to make a work in their image, they are gentile and carful with the material to get the fine delicate details of whatever they are trying to achieve, if the piece calls for that sort of treatment. Like the artistic process of making, people need to be treated with the same sort of gentile guidance when growing and learning in life.
Stoning a block of marble or plaster to create a “masterpiece” will only get you a broken, fragile and roughly shaped sculpture full of character, but with the capacity to collapse at any moment. Someone being guided through life with harsh criticism, judgments and negative energy thrown at them for trying to shape themselves breaks the person in the same way.
In this collaborative performance, I invited the audience to stone a pillar as an option to vent any pent up aggression they may have had due to a peer or loved one berating or harshly criticizing them for doing/ being what makes them happy. If they so wished, the participants could speak the words that were spoken to them as they threw the stone at the pillar.
We have all been berated for being ourselves or doing what we want by those who want to shape us at some point, and many of us have done the same to others we are trying to shape. We take the stones thrown at us, and cast them at others. And as much as we would like to believe metaphoric stoning happens in privet, it’s a very public as our peers and fellow human beings, for social acceptance, are stoning us as well. Even without hearing the words directed at us or without words at all. It is a collaborative stoning that never ends.