ECHO is a three-day long endurance art performance piece, rooted in community relationship to mental health.
Seated inside of an open air, mirrored chamber along the Sinks Canyon Trail will be the artist: (Oakley Boycott).
The front facing side of the chamber will be a two-way mirror so that the artist will be reflected back to themselves. A darkened chamber is built on the opposite side of the two way mirror so that those who choose to participate by entering into the darkened chamber are able to see the artist but the artist is unable to see who is on the other side; to be seen without knowing who is watching. The only way for the “audience” and artist to engage with each other is if the participant exits the darkened chamber to stand behind the artist, connecting via their respective reflections.
ECHO will take place over the span of 3 days: September 22nd, 23rd and 24th for 8 hours a day (10am-6pm). During the 8 hours, the artist will remain seated in the transparent chamber with no breaks and limited movement. Audience members may come for as long as they want or need.
On the exterior walls of the mirrored chambers, participating 'audience' members will be encouraged to document what they experience during the performance or in relationship to their own mental health. Whatever is written on the walls will be encouraged with no filter; both positive and negative words, drawings and experiences welcome.
The progression of ECHO will be photographed and filmed.
The benefits of self loathing. No one can hate me as much as I hate myself. It is impossible for anyone to say or doing anything that is crueler than the narrative of my own brain. In this regard, I am invincible. Within this ongoing process of metabolizing my traumas(which, cannot be measured against anyone else’s) I choose to use my self-hatred and self-loathing as tools as opposed to weights. If they are going to be there, within the exploration of relationship to diagnosis of C-PTSD, ADHD, anxiety and depression, they might as well be used to create something.
Sinks Canyon, WY
“Take your broken heart and turn it into art.”-Carrie Fisher
ECHO is exposure to transparency by creating an experience for our community to potentially see themselves in another person. To have the validation to simply exist and express in all of their complexities without shame, judgement or control what is expressed, no matter how dark or light; the cultivation of environments where shame goes to die.
ECHO was derived from my incessant fear of being an undiagnosed narcissist.
Ovid’s Metamorphosis tells the story of “Echo and Narcissus”, where both the term ‘narcissist’ and ‘narcissism’ is derived from, along with the etymological root of ‘echo’. Originally, when detailing the formatting of ECHO, the working title was NARCISSUS, after the man who fell in love with his own reflection and ultimately dies because he cares for nothing else; fertilizing the growth of the first narcissus (daffodil) flower. Eventually, the themes of this piece grew beyond NARCISSUS into ECHO. What will physically manifest are ‘echo chambers’, where both artist and participants will be reflected back to one another.
If you can mention it, you can manage it and mental health is one of those threads that exists within the fabric of community that can predominantly be deemed an “unmentionable”. Especially in a rural states like Wyoming, where mental health access is limited, visibility of high risk issues aren’t as prevalent and suicide rates are some of the highest in the country. Destigmatization, conversation, connection, alongside visible, actionable resources for mental health is an integral aspect of healthy community care.
By creating an endurance art piece that pushes the boundaries of what many may tend to consider art to be in the first place, ECHO provides an approach to collaborate and process relationship to our individual and communal narratives in a shame free environment. One only has to be brave enough to show up just to see what happens. ECHO also pushes personal boundaries in relation to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual endurance.
Our perceptions of each other are reflections of us.
Come as you are.
ECHO will be performed over the course of 3 days 8 hrs/day. No breaks. 10a-6p.
Free and open to the public. Donations made will go to an EMDR treatment fund for young people in our community affected by trauma.
ECHO was made possible by the Wyoming Arts Council ARPA Grant
ECHO will be a part of the Lander Art Center’s Mental Health Exhibition in 2023, while also working towards the ongoing development of a mental health focused community collaborative mural with AtLAS (At Lander Arts and Sciences)
ECHO is presented on Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho land