Before the sun came up, Erica Felicella stood at the edge of an empty lot in The Cedars neighborhood of Dallas, wearing a neoprene suit and beanie, while a friend performed a 'cleansing ceremony' with bells, and sage, and feathers.
"I'll be taking on everyone's burdens," Felicella said. "It's a chance to kind of cleanse. Cleanse yourself of 2020."
At sunrise, Felicella walked to a rock bed in the middle of the lot, and laid down. From sunrise to sunset she was motionless, ready to carry others' heavy load.
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"This is not art that I want you to consume," Felicella explained. "I want you to let me consume it."
The performance art exhibit started with people writing down what they want to leave behind in 2020, then dropping those papers into a clear jar. Next, people picked up a stone and walked on the rocky bed to place the stone, signifying their burden, directly onto Felicella.
"Every person is a stone. Every stone is an emotion. And everything gets left on me," Felicella said. "I finally found a way to be able to help people in a language I know how to speak."
The language of creative expression. Felicella's performance art, by nature, is not permanent or pre-determined. It existed only from sunrise to sunset.
"It's like a breathing sculpture that you only get one day with," Felicella said. "But I found the ability to touch people's souls and minds, that work lives on forever."
The end of the performance gave participants a chance to write their hopes and goals for 2021 to seal in a journal.
"Hopefully by the time you get through the other side, you'll feel a little lighter than you did when you arrived," Felicella said. "I hope somebody walks away and realizes that they're gonna be ok."