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How to Relax

Jennifer Laiwint

July 28, 2017 - August 26, 2017

Essay by Lauren Lavery

July 28th- August 26th, 2017

Opening Reception: Friday, July 28th, 7-10pm

Jennifer Laiwint

Download Essay by Lauren Lavery

How to Relax is a multimedia project that asks what it means to experience a personal transformation in the company of other people, both real and imagined. Through a close engagement with an obscure self-help text called “How To Help Yourself and Someone You love Using Psychotechniques,” written in 1980 by the elusive Dr. Salvatore V. Didato, I examine what might transpire when self-help is brought into a relational and interpretive space. The seemingly simple, and at times absurd, step-by-step instructions cover topics such as “how to overcome fear” “how to relax” or “how to stop worrying.”  These instructions or “psychotechniques” become tools to generate text, choreography and dialogue related to the transformations that the author promises to produce in anyone who subscribes to his method. What underlies this strategy of creative production is also an attempt to form a conversation around what it means to participate, to follow an instructive voice and to trust a particular position and methodology.

Documentation by Yuula Benivolski