Last evening, my friends Nick, Andrea and I went over to the B-Complex in Atlanta's West End to see a performance art/installation put on by another friend, Jessica.
According to the artist's statement: "Being awake is living with enlightenment. After years of meditative practice including a three-month residency at a Zen center and over a year of working with tantric yoga teachers, an experimental idea was formed. So what happens when you mix the stillness of Zen with the intentional movement of energy in Tantra? And what does that look like?
"The artist will alternate between seated meditation (Zazen) and tantric yoga practices for 8 hours a day, three days a week for four weeks. She doesn't expect to be the same."
Jessica is also maintaining a blog of the experience.
The B-Complex is a former warehouse converted in to a cluster of studios occupied by different artists. Jessica's performance is right up in front, inside of the main building, with open bay doors giving the space an open-air ambiance. A koi pond in front with floating candles lent a very Zen vibe to the setting.
When we arrived, Jessica was sitting zazen in front of a white wall. This side of the performance space was very minimal and austere, fitting for Zen - a zafu and zabuton, the white wall, a timer, and Jessica. Behind her, on the other side of the space, was a yoga mat and a more decorative environment fitting for Tantric practice. An interesting duality, which, I imagine, Jessica will resolve by alternating practice between the two.
Sofas are set up between the two parts of the performing space for visitors to observe either practice, write notes in the logbooks provided, or just "be" in the space between the two practices.
The closing reception will be on August 26.