Willow Smith will turn her life-long anxiety into performance art by trapping herself in a box for 24 hours. The event will begin at 9 p.m. on Wednesday at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
Joined by her collaborator Tyler Cole, the 19-year-old will cycle through eight stages of anxiety: paranoia, rage, sadness, numbness, euphoria, strong interest, compassion and acceptance. They’ll spend three hours in each stage.
“This is not so that people are like, ‘Oooh!'” Smith told the Los Angeles Times. “This is for awareness. 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.”
The idea to portray 24 hours of anxiety was born while Smith and Cole were making an album — aptly titled The Anxiety — that they plan on releasing directly after their performance.
The event will take place at the MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary, a former police garage. Visitors will watch the duo through a glass wall at 15-minute intervals. After watching, they’ll be guided into a room with a video feed, where they can make donations to mental health organizations. The event will also stream live.
“We understand this is a very sensitive subject,” Smith told The Times. She has suffered from anxiety since she was a child. “And we don’t want to be like, ‘Our experience is the experience.’ This is just us expressing our personal experience with this.”
Smith released her third LP, Willow, last summer. She recently went on a joint tour with her brother, Jaden, which concluded on December 19th in Los Angeles.