Student in Mattress Protest Makes Explicit Art Video

Columbia grad Emma Sulkowicz says 'video is consensual but may resemble rape'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2015 12:20 PM CDT
Student in Mattress Protest Makes Explicit Art Video
Emma Sulkowicz, in a screen grab from YouTube.   (YouTube/Columbia Spectator)

The Columbia student who carried a mattress around campus all year as an art project about her alleged campus rape is out with a new project likely to generate even more attention. Emma Sulkowicz has made a video in which she has a sexual encounter with a man in a dorm room, an encounter that begins as consensual but turns violent, reports New York. The eight-minute video is called Ceci N'est Pas Un Viol, or This Is Not a Rape, which Time notes is a reference to surrealist Rene Magritte's "This is not a pipe." Sulkowicz confirms to artnet news that she made the video, but declined to elaborate much. "I don't want to color the way people read this piece yet," she says. "You can try asking me later, but I'm very cautious of what I say right now." She adds that she's "interested in what the public does with it," agreeing that it's partly about how things go viral on social media.

A preface to the non-embeddable video warns, "Everything that takes place in the following video is consensual but may resemble rape." It also states that the video "is not about one night in August, 2012," and adds: "You might be wondering why I've made myself this vulnerable. Look—I want to change the world, and that begins with you, seeing yourself. If you watch this video without my consent, then I hope you reflect on your reasons for objectifying me and participating in my rape..." The video is directed by Ted Lawson, who posted it with the message, "Your chance to see it before the Internet has a nuclear meltdown." That may already be starting: The link to the video is here—warning, parts are explicit—and the page was loading sporadically today. (Read more Emma Sulkowicz stories.)

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