Individual Project

The Universal Body

Allard Pierson, Amsterdam (NL)

'The Universal Body' is an interactive dance installation presented in the Allard Pierson exhibition 'Goddesses of the Art Nouveau' by Matthias Oostrik and Suzan Tunca.

This interactive dance film installation aims to activate an ideal in the bodily imagination of the visitors who participate in the unfolding of the installation experience with their movements. This ideal reconciles dualities between the male and the female, the personal and the universal, the corporeal and the spiritual, the finite and the infinite, the divine and the human towards an experience of a dance of universal oneness. The dance of universal oneness aims towards a union between body and spirit in contrast to their stark opposition which marked the Art Nouveau era. The dance enacts an alternative contemporary as well as a futuristic allegory to the artistic rendering of women as either a sensually seductive Aphrodite or as a mythologized symbol for spiritual purity and disembodied divinity.

This installation is an extension of Suzan’s research into spiritual corporeality as a foundation for a dance language, embedded in the narrative of the exhibition. This context allows her to question how the notion of embodied gnosis (the bodily epistemic focal point of her research) speaks in relation to both the history of dance and of other art forms.

Photo by Floor Opheij