I have just returned from the Sacred Places Conference in Liverpool which ran from 20 – 22 April at Liverpool Hope University. My presentation interrogates the notion of Sacred Flesh, by reflecting on my experience of visiting the Sokushinbutsu or Flesh Buddhas of Japan with Ko Murobushi in 2014.
Keynote speakers included Anne Bean, and a range of artists, scientists, astronomers, anthropologists and was a fascinating mix of ideas, thoughts and provocations that addressed where the sacred might exist within the contemporary. Together we were given free reign to dialogue with a word that seems banned or relegated to a secret, unspoken realm within a culture driven by logic and rationalism: it was like being allowed to breathe a little deeper.
‘Home’ as the extension of self: a sacred space can be a moving place for nomadic people.
Body as ‘home’: if the body becomes a sacred space, how does it then become violated?
Sacred spaces as being detached from the mundane and representing an idealized purity.
Irradiation of spaces by the bodies of performers, actors.
“staying with the trouble requires learning to be truly present, not as a vanishing pivot between awful or edenic pasts and apocalyptic or salvific futures, but as mortal critters entwined in myriad unfinished configurations of places, times, matters, meanings…” Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble