Maud Oonk wrote a short text, reflecting her thoughts on our stay in New York, the process of making a work, and how to create a feeling of freedom.
‘The status of a person is determined by the social position he has. This position is education, income or the social surroundings. Income seems to be the main factor that gives status the highest value. The value is confirmed by the social circle one found him self in. It seems like the society forces a person to be in “the same kind with the same kind” in this way you will always stay within your status value.
My face was in a frozen position of surprise when I noticed the huge differences in status New York is having. If I tell someone about this big separation it seems to be a taboo to talk about. Because one will say; But, huh, New York is fun right?! In New York I noticed that being from a particular ethnic group automatically determines your status. Neighbours in New York are divided into status, even. Accepting, or better to say ignoring, the differences, is violence within society. That harm is clearly represented in the form of skyscrapers, buildings I barely see within my field of vision.
I walked from block to block. I felt high expectations imposed by New York. Like, the skyscrapers are so high your successful-status needs to grow ever larger. Imagine, you are living in a skyscraper environment. Those high expectations are literally put on by your surroundings. They ask you; Do you have a successful or a failed life? Are you in the basement side or on floor 102 up?
I almost went in the status of feeling a raindrop, a mote, a blinking of your eyes, a gum wrapper, or something even smaller. What if I do not become successful? Then I’m a lost loser! But that high success can only be achieved by a superhero. There was no other way! I decided to make a superhero costume. To experience how it feels high up.
Together with Saskia Janssen who is doing the 1 year residence at ISCP I went looking for a Fabric shop in Queens, to buy fabric for the costume. We found the fabric store named Fabric City. I looked in he bargain corner for different pieces of fabric. The owner of the fabric shop told proudly to Saskia he rents out his fabrics for $ 3000 per day to Hollywood settings. So the success of that superhero costume is guaranteed!!
I started that same evening making the superhero costume. First I wanted to make a cape like a real super hero, of course. But soon I saw all kinds of possibilities with the different found fabrics and made a suit without a status.
That status-free status of the suit worked well to get away from all expectations from my surroundings. I felt that possibility arose to come closer to myself, and my state of being.
When you wear the “Status-less’ costume you get the chance to have a new relationship with anything and you can be open to whatever comes in to the mind. The costume is for everyone. Let your thoughts fly over everything.
What you think, feel and desire that remains in the moment when you were wearing the costume. This heroic act anyone can do for themselves, dress up!’