Naked in Public Spaces: Soma, a Bold Performance Art in IJsselstein
Soma was a naked group performance that took place on September 21st, 2018, around the castle tower in IJsselstein, Netherlands. It was organized by Museum IJsselstein as part of their exhibition “MIJ”.
A ritual to honor life
It involved 30 nude performers, including men and women of different ages, shapes, and backgrounds. They walked around the tower in a circular formation, like knights guarding something important. In the center of the circle stood a naked woman, who remained still throughout the performance. She was the “pillar of support”.
Respectful, despite some initial curiosity
The performance lasted for about an hour, during which the performers maintained eye contact with each other and with the spectators. The audience was free to walk around and observe from different angles. The atmosphere was calm and respectful, despite some initial curiosity and discomfort from some passers-by.
The contrast between the ancient tower and the modern city
The intention was to create a contrast between the ancient tower and the modern city, as well as between the clothed and the naked bodies. He wanted to show that nudity is not something to be ashamed or afraid of, but rather something natural and beautiful. He also wanted to challenge the viewers to reflect on their own perceptions of nudity and sexuality.
Discussion: The Impact and Significance of Soma
Soma was a bold and unique performance that attracted a lot of attention from the media and the public. It was praised by many as a courageous and inspiring act of art, while criticized by some as inappropriate and indecent.
Nudity in art and society
This sparked a debate about the role and meaning of nudity in art and society. Some people saw it as a form of liberation and empowerment, while others saw it as a form of exhibitionism and provocation. Some people appreciated it as a creative and aesthetic expression, while others dismissed it as a cheap and vulgar stunt.
Regardless of the opinions, Soma succeeded in creating an impact and raising awareness about naked performance art in public spaces. It showed that nudity can be used as a powerful tool to communicate, connect and transform. It also showed that public spaces can be used as platforms to showcase diverse forms of art and culture.
As an Experience
It was not only a performance but also an experience. An experience that invited us to question our assumptions, challenge our boundaries and celebrate our differences. An experience that reminded us that we are all human beings, naked under our clothes.
Short for Museum of Innovative Journeys, is a leading cultural institution that hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including their renowned annual event called “Manifestation”. This exclusive gathering is designed to provide a comprehensive exploration of a range of social topics that are currently affecting our society at large. During the Manifestation period, MIJ transforms into a meeting grounds and workshop, unlike any other traditional museum you may have visited.
One of the vital issues that MIJ is particularly passionate about is gender. They believe that the concept of gender is often unconsciously intertwined in our personal and societal choices, whether it’s selecting a toy, choosing a bathroom, or even ticking checkboxes on critical documentation. However, MIJ acknowledges that the subject matter is far more complex than mere constructs and social labels. That’s why they strive to provide a deep dive into the depths of gender identity and how it permeates throughout our daily lives in ways that we may not even be aware of.
It gives us immense pleasure to bring to your attention an event that we are incredibly excited about. The key focus of our event is to present a platform where people can delve deeper into the immensely important topic of gender. Our team has invested a great deal of thought, effort and energy to develop a diverse and engaging range of activities and programming that is designed to serve as a comprehensive and enriching exploration into the subject matter. Our goal is to ensure that every participant can learn more about the complexities involved with this topic, and develop greater sensitivity and empathy towards those who may be affected by issues related to gender. We welcome everybody who is interested in learning more about gender to join us, and we are confident that every participant will leave as an empowered and enlightened advocate for gender equality.