Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Post-nakedness (2): reverence and respect

Three days have passed since the Human Body Project 44 event. I'm still absorbing it. I knew people were hungry for an experience like this but I wasn't sure if they would get it. From my own experience of the event, and from feedback I've received since, I think most of the people there not only got it but engaged very deeply.

Let me backtrack for a moment: my intuitive healer friend told me I should ask for the number of people I wanted to attend, put it out to the universe, as it were. So I said: I want 60 people to come. But I was unattached to the number because I wasn't sure how many people would be ready for something like this. On Sunday I counted the number of waivers signed. There were 72. I had 12 people there helping me out (GREAT THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!). Do the math. Pretty amazing!

What I wanted to create happened in more ways than getting 60 people out. I wanted to use my own body to create an atmosphere of reverence and compassion for what we all are: flawed human beings in a body. That's why I'm reluctant to take on the heroine role. I'm still a messed up person in many ways. But I can use my own body and my own experience to represent that messed-upness in all of us. What happened is that there really was an atmosphere of respect, reverence and compassion.

This kind of feeling is missing in most of our lives. I'm not saying we don't have it, but we definitely don't have enough of it. I also feel like we, myself certainly included, don't know how to create it, how to deal with it, how to nurture it, how to engage with it. On Saturday, people were engaged with those profound human feelings that we all have access to and that make life meaningful. For creating an opportunity and space to do that, I'll give myself credit.

Now that Human Body Project 44 has happened it seems like it needs to keep happening and waiting a year doesn't make sense. So I'm putting this out to the universe: I want to create more of this and I'll need the right kind of help.


  1. As an old friend who was not in attendance, I wish I had been there to REALLY make you nervous/pissed off/uncomfortable, heh heh....
    Actually, you are very brave and this project suits your personality, intelligence, honesty, strength, and optimism. It seems like a logical step in your own quest for self-awareness that is a big part of being an artist. Artists are vulnerable....no doubt.
    I recall a number of 'naked' performances in art school in 80's...usually one-offs...the trick (or beauty) of your project will be keeping it up. Hopefully, the world will still stay intact long enough to enable this...
    take care

  2. That's so neat that exactly 60 people showed up.

    There was a definite need for a project like yours, and it was an experience that I didn't really realize I needed until the event was in progress. I realized how deeply it affected me, and the many people in the room. I think experiencing it with so many people really amplified, if not created, the atmosphere. People played off on another's positive reactions, until it built into this amazing presence.

    It's mostly people my age who are objectified on magazines and videos, and so to participate in the Human Body Project really was a relief of sorts. That atmosphere of respect, reverence and compassion was like a antidote for my negative perception of people's view of the body. It was a refreshing experience.

    I would love to help you again, unfortunately when this term is over I go back to Fort McMurray. I may be moving to Montreal next year as well, which is unfortunate, because I'd really enjoy to continue helping out.