Grad Student Turns Illness into Performance Art

Daniel Westfield MFA '14 (Studio Art), bedridden for a few days, covers himself in plastic wrap for 12 hours in a piece titled 'Immobile'

July 25, 2013

Daniel Westfield MFA '14 (Studio Art) turned an illness that left him bedridden for a few days into a performance art piece he called "Immobile." The graduate student covered himself in plastic wrap while lying on a cot in front of UArts' Anderson Hall on South Broad Street, where he remained for 12 hours.

"Last week's sickness struck me with unforgiving blows, leaving me at its mercy," said Westfield. "Wednesday night, I made the conscientious choice to be temporarily immobilized for 12 hours, 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Conversely, last week I did not choose to be off my feet for days. This piece can metaphorically serve as a drop in the bucket for the unforgiving realities of the disabled."

Lots of curious onlookers passed by Westfield as he lay outside, including a Philadelphia Inquirer photographer whose image was today's "Photo of the Day" in the newspaper's local news section.

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