livestream performance of Dimitri van den Wittenboer

About the project:

In the performance I (Dimitri) will be at my house, after a series of breathing exercises I will stop my breath for as long as possible.

This will be the end of the project which I am doing already since 5 months. It deals with the Idea of detachment from things which I suppose could be negative for me. It started with quitting smoking last year and was not planned to be connected to art. The idea was to feel better mentally and physically through this. After a while I realized that I still do not feel perfect, so I step but step began to detach from more: meat, milk products, drugs, unhealthy food and finally alcohol and coffee. Also so some extend on a mental level: things like negative behaviors or bad thoughts. I realized that this process of pealing of thing from ourselves is quite common nowadays, everyone wants to stop something. So I decided to go deeper and connect it to my art.

Right now I am eating only nuts and fruits. 10 days before the 14th of April I will stop eating, 5 days before stop using media devices and electricity, the last free days I want to isolate myself in my room, stop visual and audio perception and stop drinking for the last 2 days. The very last detachment is the one from oxygen.

I want to see what it is that stays when we detach from everything. In the eastern yoga philosophy, which blurred into my life through this project this is the way to enlightenment, the true self and the connection to the universal love which all beings are part of. In the western philosophy on the other side the human is not seen as something inside the body but much more as a unity of perceptions, memories, phantasies, social relationships, material things and their worlds, basically everything which is connected to the center of the self. Detachment from everything in this sense would mean death. This opposition I think is very interesting. I will also be a rebirth in a way, as after starting breathing again a will come back to most of the things which dropped step by step, but I guess in a more conscious way.

Another point if this works which I started to think of recently is Anorexia. I realized that trough losing weight in the whole process I start getting more attention, so I find myself looking and the mirror every day being proud of my thinner getting body. In a broader view the whole idea of being different from the people in ones surrounding (in a way that makes one feel superior) is something which gains a lot of attention easily and can rise the own ego, which is one of the reasons and problems in Anorexia. This makes it difficult for a person to stop as it seems that the strong and only identity will get lost. It also happens to spiritual people like yogis, monks and in many different religions, where the person starts to see himself superior and better through the intense practice of abstinence. So instead of detaching from the ego it grows even bigger. I like also this “ dark“ side of detachment somehow.

For the presentation I want to invite people to see the live stream of the end ritual on Friday the 14th of April, which is my birthday, that’s why it is important to be on this date. I will not be at the presentation, but I have people who can help with the organization.