Naida Zukic


Revolt of the Body in Stillness (2019). 
Photography that bears witness to the atrocious and the catastrophic stands as a historic document and a photographic enterprise that records, defines, and normalizes consumption of violence and jarring war horrors. For Antony Penrose, this practice of documenting the distant suffering requires the presence of "surrealist eye." For George Bataille, photographic knowledge of the atrocious is both intolerable and pleasurable in the most excruciating depictions of pain. In this project I read Butoh as a visual text to argue that the intensity of awareness located in the surrealist aesthetic of Butoh demands self-reflexivity that troubles passive voyeurism of human rights abuses. More specifically, I choreograph revolt as embodied in Butoh's stillness.  Beyond underscoring the role of performance art in confronting the apathy of seeing violence, the project exemplifies Butoh as a medium that performs discomfort of seeing, which cuts across academic and aesthetic critiques of witnessing.