A Columbia University senior is creating quite the media buzz around her senior art thesis - which also happens to be a powerful protest against the policies surrounding sexual assault on American college campuses. The stats around sexual assault on college campuses - and the universities' often middling responses to it - are quite depressing but there is something uplifting in this woman's spirit and ability to make powerful, evocative art out of injustice. Maybe this small project will get the ball rolling on better policies and interventions to cut down sexual assault rates.
It is so simple: A woman with a mattress, refusing to keep her violation private, carrying with her a stark reminder of where it took place. The work Ms. Sulkowicz is making is strict and lean, yet inclusive and open ended, symbolically laden yet drastically physical. All of this determines its striking quality as art, which in turn contributes substantially to its effectiveness as protest.