Bed-In

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Modern Day Vision Quest, or Bed In Reenactment

On May 24, 2009, the forty-year anniversary of John Lennon + Yoko Ono's attempted Bermuda Bed-In, KKProjects | Life is Art Foundation conducted a week-long Bed-In in St Roch, New Orleans. The bed-in took place on the corner of Music and N. Villere Streets, the site of frequent neighborhood shootings.

The original Bermuda Bed-In For Peace was canceled after one night due to uncomfortable tropical heat. KKProjects filled in the missing hot climate Bed-In. The bed itself was a sculpture by Kirsha Kaechele based on the pyramid power structures used by Cuban farmer Miguel Saucin for seed germination. Suffering from a year of bad funding, Life is Art Foundation was faced with the question of how to obtain materials for the bed. This problem was elegantly solved when the roof of Dirt House spontaneously collapsed, supplying an abundance of historic cypress barge-boards. The unexpected safety problem became the bed.

To conduct Vision Quest, Kaechele performed a ten day fast. Lopez, leading the cleanse, supplied fresh juices and lemon/maple syrup/cayenne water, allowing KK to remain in bed for the duration of the week.

The Vision Quest served to test two beliefs: One, that if you stay still, everything will come to you. This was confirmed when KK's fear of boredom was alleviated by the sudden appearance of a glamorous rap group who requested to film a music video in front of Mel Chin's SafeHouse, Ricki Hill's cocoon sculptures and, in the bed itself. KK: This idea became reality when I realized I had no solitary moment. Companions came in a steady stream and the bed was never empty. On day three, artist Frances Pavy (see Allons a Laffayette) came and offered an improv therapy session, which was much needed by that point.

The second intention of Vision Quest was to illustrate that the St Roch neighborhood is innately safe, and that our neighbors, scary to the world, are loving and good. KK: I acknowledge that there is survivor bias at work here- I survived the 7 days in the street- however, I felt extremely loved and protected by all our neighbors who checked regularly to make sure I had what I needed, and had still not eaten (They were very strict about this!). At night I began asking the local crack dealer if he would sit outside my bed while conducting business as I found I could sleep much more soundly with him present. It was really a journey into fear and brutal self-reflection- very purifying. ...Your basic vision quest, just set in the inner city- our culture's equivalent of the unknown wilderness- instead of the traditional desert or forest.