I am attempting to render the consequences of prioritizing materialism over the health of our planet. In order to trigger sympathy and illustrate these consequences, I play both the role of a dead tree and a dying human. I demonstrate our dependent relationship with trees and the Earth through suicidal performances.
I find a tree stump in the city. I bring my most recent material or vain purchase. Standing on this stump, I suffocate myself with a plastic bag. Simultaneously I attempt to put on and flaunt my material object. Running out of oxygen, but looking gorgeous, I collapse onto the stump. Suffocation symbolizes our obsession with vain self-destruction, misaligned priorities, and our primitive ideas on comfort and survival.
These performances fuel my vanity while exploiting my desires and decisions. Parading the objects that I have a love/hate relationship with, I beautifully sacrifice the health of the Earth and myself for these purchases. Though gruesome and suicidal, there is much beauty found in the nude body in nature, and shiny or soft objects on a well-shaped body.
How and why does waste and consumption translate to beauty? In the same way that we use products full of toxins to “make ourselves beautiful.” Hair dye, nail polish and perfume are some of the few designed to fuel or vanity and poison our lungs. A hypocritical move, we polish the outsides of our bodies while our insides rot away.