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Nude Butoh Performance by Philemon Mukarno in Aalsmeer

What is Butoh?

Butoh is a form of Japanese dance that emerged in the late 1950s as a reaction to the devastation of World War II and the influence of Western culture. Butoh is characterized by slow, controlled movements, distorted postures, expressive faces, and often involves nudity, body paint, and props. Butoh dancers explore themes such as death, decay, transformation, and spirituality, using their bodies as a medium of expression.

“Nude, Bare, Naked, Raw, and Real”

He performed in various festivals and venues around the world, using his body as a tool to investigate his subconscious and connect with his environment. He describes his art as “Nude, Bare, Naked, Raw, and Real”.

What was his performance in Aalsmeer?

On October 10th, 2018, Mukarno performed a nude butoh performance at the opening of an exhibition in Aalsmeer, a town near Amsterdam. The exhibition was titled “The Emotional Depth of Nudity in Performance Art”, and featured works by various artists who explored the power of nudity to challenge norms and inspire conversations about body positivity and human authenticity.

Reflection on the illusory sense

It was a reflection on the illusory sense of self that humans cling to. It was in a dark room with a spotlight on his naked body, which was covered with white paint. He moved slowly and gracefully, sometimes curling up into a fetal position, sometimes stretching out his limbs, sometimes staring into the eyes of the audience. He conveyed a sense of vulnerability, pain, and liberation, as he shed his ego and embraced his true nature.

Why was his performance important?

It was important because it challenged the audience to confront their own egos and question their identities. He also showed that nudity can be a powerful way of expressing emotions and creating intimacy with the viewers. His performance was not meant to be erotic or provocative, but rather honest and sincere. He used his body as a canvas to paint a story of his inner journey.

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