Nudity. Desire.


Photo by Jamie Kronick

This solo dance is a weaving together of two distinct lines of research.

The first part, nudity, embodies a concept of nudity positioned by contemporary philosopher Giorgio Agamben. His claim that the theological first nudity, associated with the Fall in Genesis, was a point where humanity first acquired its capability for knowledge. With this positioning of an origin of knowledge, the work itself equates this shift to an undertaking of language; the nude body as one that discovers its ability for language and its desire for communication.

At first the body is suspended in grace, in its vanity of divine ignorance, the body discovers its nudity when confronted with the knowledge of its humanity. This “metaphysical transformation” at the point of the the first nudity described by Erik Peterson in his ‘Theology of Clothing’, rethinks this notion of the fall not as an acquisition of knowledge but rather, an unveiling of a divine grace. So the body must loose something in order for the “opening of the eyes” to take place.

 Estúdio Pã - Bienal de dança - 23-10-2012  (13 de 46)

The second part, desire, comes from research into the deep roots desire holds into identity and all facets of identity (relationships and communication). Working from Lacan, the work reckons with desire as an over-arching motivator for identity construction. The construction of fantasy as means of satisfying the vanity of the ego and developing personal identity is positioned as a mechanical process and dominant societal apparatus. Embodying strategies of removing essential parts for this absolute-fantasy-machine to function are essentially the movement practices of the work – the body needs breath or desires breath? How many objects can you desire in the space at once? What is your perfect place?

Of course the two parts are blended. The work work is a reverse-striptease somewhat describing this first Fall when the first bodies discovered they were nude, stripping themselves of grace clothing themselves and what I position to be our first entry into language. I would like to say that this coincides with the first time desire was felt in humanity. When the first bodies saw themselves as perfect (as fantasy) and desired one another (or themselves).