Willow Smith Will Be Trapped In A Box For 24 Hours

By Peyton Blakemore

March 11, 2020

Willow Smith is using performance art to bring awareness to anxiety.

In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, the 19-year-old artist announced that she will be spending 24 hours inside of a box at the Museum of Contemporary Art's Geffen Contemporary starting at 9 p.m. PT on Wednesday (March 11).

Willow will be joined by her boyfriend, and fellow artist, Tyler Cole for the unconventional art event in which they will transition through eight stages of anxiety — paranoia, rage, sadness, numbness, euphoria, strong interest, compassion and acceptance — from the inside of a box that will feature one glass wall for viewers, while the other three walls are made of canvas for writing or drawing.

“This is not so that people are like, ‘Oooh!’ This is for awareness,” Willow explained, anticipating the public’s reaction. “The first thing we’re going to be writing on our title wall is something along the lines of: ‘The acceptance of one’s fears is the first step toward understanding.’ So then you know this is on something real. This is for a real cause.”

“We were like, ‘Wouldn’t it be so interesting if we could personify this experience? Starting from being scared and feeling alone and moving to a place of acceptance and joy?” Will shared.

“We understand this is a very sensitive subject,” she continued. “And we don’t want to be like, ‘Our experience is the experience.’ This is just us expressing our personal experience with this.”

Audience members will be allowed to observe Willow and Tyler in the box for about 15 minutes. After exiting, visitors will be able to watch the two on a video feed and be able to check out self-help books and stations to donate to mental health organizations. The art installation will also be live-streamed online.

But if you’re expecting to hear them scream, bawl their eyes out, or just lose it for three hours, Willow said it's not that type of exhibit. “Honestly? That’s not what it’s about,” she said. “I’ve learned so much from being in the public eye that you really can’t care what people think. You have to do art because you want to do it and because it inspires you. And whoever likes it? Amazing! And whoever doesn’t? Amazing! I’m doing this because I’m inspired by this idea and I see that anxiety around me is an epidemic and people don’t talk about it. And so as long as it’s bringing awareness and a positive light to the darkness, it doesn’t matter if you don’t enjoy it.”

After the performance piece, Willow and Tyler will also drop a collaborative album titled The Anxiety.

Photo: Getty Images

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