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The Human Body

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One of the clips watched in class that I enjoyed the most was the performance of Körper by Sasha Waltz. Initially, the performance freaked me out. The minimal sounds of breathing, the dark atmosphere, and the "bones" cracking were really creepy. The figures seemed mythical, science-fictional, and very inhuman. Beyond that, I found the possible meanings behind the performance really captivating. The performance makes the audience question what the human body really is, how others may perceive it, and it makes me think about the reason behind the shock factor of it all.

The performance provokes the question of "what do we consider a human body?" When we take away our organs, limbs, etc. are we still considered as humans? I say yes, because thanks to technology we are able to donate a kidney to help someone else who needs a kidney to survive. Some people who get their limbs amputated are able to live normal lives with artificial limbs. I do not consider them to be any less human, although I can see how some people might consider them a little less human. It starts to get a little shaky when we replace more of the body with artificial parts. If a person has replaced their entire body except for their head, are they still considered as human? That question might be debatable, but I think it's safe to say that many people would certainly fear the person in question. Humans are known to fear what they do not know, with what they are not familiar with. I personally do not know anyone with an almost entirely artificial body (is that even possible currently?), let alone someone with one artificial limb. So I would predict that upon meeting someone with such, I would have an initial fear. Fear due to the strangeness, fear due to not wanting to offend them in any way. However, in getting to know the person better and in having a greater understanding, I feel I would no longer be as scared.

Perhaps the point of such shocking and bizarre performances is to carry out the same type of task: to desensitize the audience and introduce the unfamiliar. When one is introduced to something new and one encounters it over and over again, it becomes more familiar and less scary. The wonderful thing about these types of eccentric performances is that we as humans can broaden our minds. I am not sure what this means exactly, but I believe this could be (at the very least) the expanding of our artistic and creative capacities, which I have learned is a very positive thing because it takes a creative person to come up with new ideas or solve new problems.

What I really liked about this "performance" was how alien and foreign everything appeared, even though the entire performance was composed of just people and ordinary objects such as cloth and saucers. It was a nice change from all of the CGI effects we see in movies these days. It is a rare treat to have fear and fascination provoked by a performance without



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