PRET A DINER 2013 – Mia Florentine Weiss

Mia Florentine Weis has spent the past 10 years of her life on a journey. During her
travels she asked everyone she encountered one simple yet confounding question:
“What is your place of protection?” The question forbids us the typical differentiations
(such as “where do you live?” or “where do you feel at home?” or “do you feel safe?”),
thus forcing us to first reflect upon the manifold dimensions of ‘protection’ we seldom
think about. For if there is a place where we feel protected and secure, what does such
protection ultimately mean? Protection from whom? And for what? To many, it seems
the world is still full of peril. But a place free from violence does not appear to adequately
answer the question.

Mia Florentine Weiss has culled together the results of her inquiry in a multimedia
installation entitled What Is Your Place Of Protection?. Each of the installation’s 54 digital
clips is based upon a poetry performance by the artist and offers its own answer to
this question. The installation invites the viewer to experience how often this question
has animated people to spontaneously express deeply personal, even metaphysical
statements that extend well beyond the notion of mere physical inviolability. Again and
again those questioned seem at first to be struck with wonder by what they are being
asked. But, as Plato already noted: Wonder is where all philosophy begins.

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