What does it mean to feel contained?

What does it mean to feel contained? (Lung)

What does it mean to feel contained—both as comfort and cage?

There is a type of containment we live in which is formed by the rules of our society, culture, family and personal values. Some of these rules are unspoken and yet they dictate our actions. How can we look at this experience of being contained? Do the rules make us feel safe? Do the values make us feel trapped? Is my action my own or is it prescripted?

I examine the constructs we live in using boxes. Placing my body inside the box to make the constraint physical. I think about how I feel sitting in that box, what can this box represent? It can represent the role of a woman in society. It can represent a relationship. It can represent authority. The authority of a president, a country, a father. It can represent a question about freedom. It can represent me?

What I discovered each day inside the box is the complexity of emotion surrounding ideas of safety and comfort versus freedom and openness. Inside the box I am safe. I know my parameters. I know what I can and can’t do. Also in the box my movement is restricted, limited by its shape and walls. So I can feel claustrophobic and trapped. Through a durational practice, each day for a year I climbed into the box for 30 minutes, recording my actions.

Through repetition certain things get discovered. In this case after moving dynamically and not moving in the box for the year, I realized that the simple act of breathing was already something—in fact breathing is everything.

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