The painted polyester brick wall backdrop used for the set of the video The Invisible Hero (2005) served to make this sculpture, which imitates a brick wall. A voice recording inside the dummy’s head reads off affirmations: positive statements designed to combat negative thinking.
“Affirmations are an alterative to imagery, and some people, traumatized or not, prefer them to guided imagery. They are briefer and require less concentration than imagery text. In fact, they are a little like imagery bites… They work incrementally, as a kind of conscious, positive brainwashing. It’s not the same as denial – these ideas don’t have to be believed in order for them to work. All that is required is an openness, based on hope that over time they can be believed.”
Belleruth Naparstek, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal, New York, 2004
This work has been shown at
Cut, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles, 2005
Affirmations Sung by Dummy
More and more, I can acknowledge and accept the times I feel anger, loneliness, sorrow, guilt, terror, despair, or shame.
More and more, I can accept my feelings, soften around them, and breathe through them.
I am more able to be kind and gentle toward myself.
More and more, I can let go of worrying about things I cannot control, and focus on my own inner peacefulness.
More and more, I can sense the peaceful stillness at center.
I see myself becoming more and more patient, with myself and others.
More and more, I know that when I can let go of harsh expectations, of myself and others, I allow myself to heal.
I know that I am learning to listen to my body and sense what it needs.
More and more, I can appreciate my body, respect it, and take good care of it.
More and more, I can notice when muscles tense and tighten in my body, and I can soften and release them with my awareness and my breathing.
More and more, I can consider the possibility that my body is my ally, my oldest friend, and my steadiest companion.
I can see and feel a warm, glowing blanket of magical comfort surrounding me, enveloping me with peace and safety, soaking its peaceful energy into me.
I know there is a core part of me that can never be diminished or destroyed.
I know that my heart is large enough to hold my suffering and transform it.
From: Invisible Heroes, Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal, Belleruth Naparstek, 2004 (pages 221-224)