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anxiety machine

Romy Yedidia, performance, Anxiety Machine, photo by Nina Ivanovic_1_edited.jpg

Anxiety Machine, 2019, performance, 15 minutes, U10 Art Space, Belgrade, Serbia. Photo: Nina Ivanović

The performance-cum-installation ‘Anxiety Machine’ reacts to the societal expectation of perpetually displaying an effortless disposition. Anxiety too often builds up inside us, without any possibility of channeling that emotion out. For this purpose, Yedidia created a relief instrument through which she performs a series of cathartic actions that accumulate into an endurance performance. 

The artist screams into a pipe, containing black powder, which is mobilized by her voice and blown into a cloud that slowly sinks down on a white surface. Yedidia pushes the boundaries of this short and cathartic moment by screaming until she is completely out of breath and voice. She creates an endurance piece where the sense of liberation is mixed with discomfort and worry. It’s a purification process, it’s an abjection of internalized pressures that she aims to confront.

Romy Yedidia, Anxiety Machine, 2013/2019/2021, performance-cum-installation, iron, charcoal, wood, rubber, 110x230x120 cm / two-channel video, duration: 5 minutes.

Installation views from the exhibition Doing the Stuff With the Thing, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, NL, 2021.

Photography credits — Photo 1: Nina Ivanović, photo 2: Maarten Nauw, photo 3, 6: LNDW Studio, photo 4, 5: film stills by Fan Liao.

Co-performers: Elisabeth Mesnier, Anastasija Kana.

Romy Yedidia, excerpt from the registration of the performance Anxiety Machine, 2019, U10 Art Space, Belgrade, Serbia, original duration:15 minutes.
Camera: Viktória Beličáková, editing: Romy Yedidia, co-performer: Anastasija Kana.

This project was made possible thanks to the Mondriaan Fund. 

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