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Carry That Weight: The Revival of Feminist Performance Art

Mattress Performance: Carry That Weight began nearly five weeks ago. Throughout the performance the artist Emma Sulkowicz, a 22 year-old Columbia University senior, will carry a boxy blue mattress everywhere she goes on campus. Weighing in at fifty pounds, the mattress stands in for the mattress on which she was raped by a fellow student. Sulkowicz’s work is profoundly simple: a young woman visually manifests the psychological weight of the crime committed on her body and demands recognition of that burden. Carry That Weight is a purely visual performance, one so piercing it resists language. READ MORE

How to Be a Genius (Or, How to Contract Syphilis and Be An Artist)

It seems that James Joyce was not the simple hypochondriac he’s often assumed to be. Rather, with his panoply of debilitating symptoms, he was something far more romantic: a syphilitic. According to a new biography, if the long-whispered rumors about Joyce’s burden are true, he had the French Curse, the Spanish Itch, the Canton Rash, or whatever delicate nickname he preferred to use. READ MORE

Cristina Scuccia and Our Enduring Love for Singing Nuns

Last week, Ursuline nun Cristina Scuccia bopped across the set of Italy’s The Voice—her black habit flying and her rather large cross looking a bit like bling—and belted out a pretty convincing rendition of Alicia Keys’ “No One.” Her performance garnered a couple million hits on YouTube and has probably been e-mailed to you by your very nice, Hail-Mary-ing, Internet-capable great-aunt by now. But if not, here you go: READ MORE

A Short History of the Really Bad Valentine Missive

If we’re to believe the American people, “Tweet Me” is one of the most romantic utterances of our era. That was one of the many expressions chosen by Sweethearts manufacturer NECCO after their 2010 crowd-sourced competition for new romantic missives that were then featured on their ubiquitous Valentine’s candies. Other sweet nothings candy eaters chose included: “Text Me” and “You Rock.” They joined the even more swoon-worthy “Email Me” and “URA QT” already in circulation. READ MORE