Self Portrait, 2014
Self Portrait, was a performance at the Bathaus, Boston, MA. It is part of the "Wherever You Go, There You Are" series.
Below is an artist statement by the artist regarding the curated performance event:
Healthy? Strong? Feminine? Elegant? Graceful? Beautiful? What do all these things mean? Can I be strong and feminine? As a teenager and young adult, I constantly examined my identity.
Now, as an athlete in an Olympic Weightlifting team, I find myself asking what it means to be a woman, an artist, an athlete. Can I be all three at once? Can I exist and succeed in two male dominated cultures: weightlifting and art-making, while retaining my “femininity”? These are questions that consume me.
Every time I step on the platform, I find a new strength, a new me. There is no more thinking. I just have to be present. Right here, this moment. Be mindful of every position. Hours of training cumulate to 1.2 seconds. That is the time it takes to get the weight from the floor to the air. Weightlifting is my mediation. It is where I find peace. It is my sanctuary. Yet, weightlifting is also a battleground. I am battling my body and my mind. The negative voices that say: why can’t you do it? Why are you so weak? Then, I stop and I say to myself, let’s go! You can do this! Easy weight! While I’m in a male-dominated sport, I feel the most feminine and beautiful performing in this sport. The weightlifting gives me the power, the self confidence to continue, to push through. Yet, it is this physical strength that turns into mental strength. The mental strength is what makes me who I am.
In my performances I explore the meaning of strength, meditation, beauty and femininity through physical training. The platform which I stand on and the objects which I lift with become precious objects to me as they are helping me live a better life. They challenge me every time I hold them and force me to be mindful and face obstacles, until I overcome them. “All that is important is this one moment in movement. Make the moment vital and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.” Martha Graham