‘Angry Women’ is a video installation by Annie Abrahams and 22 other women of different nationalities. This project features these women reflecting on their anger and irritation, then expressing these raw emotions in their native language in front of their webcams. The performance will come to an end when every single angry thought has left the women and this is signalled by a minute of silence by all participants.
“How can we aim for a better, happier world if we don’t allow ourselves to exist, if we are not ready to confront our sloppy sides and take them as a departure point for our thoughts and actions. How can we pretend to change a world if we are not even capable of looking honestly at ourselves?”
– Annie Abrahams, Trapped to Reveal, 2011, Journal for Artistic Research
The increase reliance and usage of technology has caused us to hide behind technology and put on happy facades. Social media platforms pressure us to curate a digital identity that reflects a perfect life that is mainly filled with positivity, hiding any kind of ‘messiness’ or negativity that are happening in our lives. Perhaps the reason why we’re so critical with ourselves is because we crave for acceptance and validation from others. As we are imperfect, we are unwilling to show these vulnerabilities to others, making it difficult for others to love us for who we are. Therefore, we try to give ourselves an identity that is different from who we are in real-life, in hopes that others will love this identity that we have forged for ourselves.
Annie Abrahams went against the grain by suggesting that ‘it is important to find ways to access our vulnerabilities and doubts, to make them public, to cherish our messy side’. This was fulfilled through ‘Angry Women’, which encouraged women to express their anger openly. From this expression of raw emotions, the women were too pre-occupied to care about their image as they normally would. It must have been a liberating experience to let go of any facades and embrace their ‘vulnerabilities and doubts, their messy and sloppy sides’.
“[Annie Abraham’s] approach in creating a space where her collaborating performers can “negotiate ideas together in order to achieve a result that’s not just one person’s problem, one person’s effort, but it’s the effort of a group of people solving a problem collectively.””
– Randall Packer, Disentangling the Entanglements, Art of the Networked
‘Angry Women’ embodies the concept of DIWO. It cannot be achieved by Annie Abrahams alone, she needed a team of participants to complete this performance with her. More than just participating in the performance alone, they reflected and analysed the effects of this performance did to them. They also discussed how the subject of anger influenced the group dynamics. As all the participants came from different countries and backgrounds, their perspectives on this subject matter would be vastly different and would definitely be valuable to Annie Abraham’s research on human behaviour.