Essay on Roles Performing Body Play In Transgressing Social Taboos - Essay Prowess

Essay on Roles Performing Body Play In Transgressing Social Taboos

Essay on Roles Performing Body Play In Transgressing Social Taboos



Transgression is a complex notion with a historical interconnectedness. Usually, crime is something that reaffirms and disconfirms the existing social, cultural, and political rules (Brook 2014). Transgression destabilises taboos but as well ensures their effectiveness. Taboo means forbidden or sacred. The violation and taboo phenomena are considered omnipresent both geographically and temporally in that they exist in all cultures and societies at all times. Transgression strengthens the limits, it indicates the limits’ consciousness, not their absence and it can also perfect with resistance and power structures. The phenomenon produces expectations for people, places, and a sense of dependency. Etymologically transgression refers to going beyond a feeling of violation as per the juridical, ethical and religious standpoint (Deumert 2014).

The transgression concept generalises the ideas of breaking, floating and overcoming the social, cultural boundaries. It brings up the cultural and social struggle for the buildup and boundaries reinforcement that is the decisive factor in developing group and individual identities interconnecting the body, territory, and consciousness (Brook 2014). Transgression utilises the deconstructivist approach which turns certain items into conditional ones. Additionally, it sets certain norms, identities, taboos, and evidence into conditional social constructs, fixed in an established sphere of power configuration. Thus philosophical deconstructivism and modernist artistic practices relate since they transgress various, cultural psychological and social taboos, more so those linked to sexual expression and the social control over the exerted appearance. The clear-cut differentiation between the masculine and feminine uses the feeling — the practices of modernist artistic spread liberation of an aesthetic, political ideology (Jenkins 2014). 

 What role does the performing body play in transgressing social taboos?        

The body foregrounding as an artistic expression means it is capable of surpassing the bounds of discourse established.  The body’s resulting politicization as a cultural disruption site has marked the practice of Avant-grade theatre throughout this century (Montelius and Nygren 2014). Notably, the physical transgression advocacy, both the socially body determined taboos and its functions as the conscious liberating means from the bourgeois art and ideology mind-benumbing shackles. During the early 1970s, the transgressed organization championing strikes a sticky climax. The sexual liberation feverish mood accompanied the period. The social revolution spread widely hence performance artists like Vito Acconci with depilatory and masturbatory rituals, and Carolee with her sex and food “in-year-face” celebrations and vaginal creativity bared their stupidity to art establishment (Hooks 2014).

The cultural theory implosion within the visual and performing arts of the academic study has problematized the intentionally transgressed inflexion. Likely, the physicalized transgression shock tactics find theoretical reinforcement in that socialisation process begins in infancy and depends on bodily instinct repression and regulation (Jenkins 2014). Furthermore, the social decorum formulation dictating the ‘dos’ and ‘not dos’  to our bodies and the increasing body privatisation culturally since the 17th century is associated with the bourgeois capitalism ideologies from the avant-garde perspective which has characteristically battled the body politic. The repression reads as abreaction and oppression energies and primal instincts strategically adopted to diversify artistic practice to disrupt orthodox (Jenkins 2014). The reception theories have rendered the body to subversive expression mediums on the basis that the body is a constituent of the privileged site of substantial presence. Plus its images in the spectator’s eye soul cannot avoid representation throes than other discourse sites, culturally written. The female body exposure is particularly problematic since it is a traditional exploit male heterosexual desires object (Brook 2014). Thus Wolf Janet cautioned that anybody politics concerning the artistic practice must communicate the materiality of the body, its discursive and social construction, at the same time, subverting and disrupting existing representation regimes (Brook 2014). The research argues that general failure foiled the performance art transgressed agenda in the 1960s and 1970s.

Additionally, the visual emphasis of performance art together with its displacement from the theoretical auditorium to art galleries alternative spaces, the street, optical media, and residential lofts are positive influences (Rapport 2014).  The demise of ‘performance art’ term in favour of ‘live art’ to describe visual hybridity, for instance, site-specific, installation and body art marked the transition. The renaming consciously attempts to distance such differing artistic experimentation from the general perceived frequency technical inadequacy and self-indulgence of early performance art. It implicitly acknowledges the definition refusal which pervades postmodern discourse and ascertains its departure from the modernist project and enlightenment of discovering value, truth, meaning, and essence (Karras 2017).

Indeed, the consciousness in the postmodern era reflects the heightening faith diminishing in a real or stable worldview as enshrined in the cultural establishment metanarratives and it’s medical, legal, political, religious and aesthetic bodies (Jenkins 2014). Similarly, Tiidenberg and Gómez (2015) argue that the assertion of the need to consent the thought of body alongside the thinking of cerebral cortex is within the performing arts. The previous stress-bursting interventions of mind-body therapies have redressed the hushed debate of the body and its roles in the middle-class respectability (Tiidenberg and Gómez 2015). The live arts searing and haunting images visually assault spectators. Some assertions distinguish ongoing demonstrations on the body-in-performance based on high-tech theatre or male-identified realist and performance dance or woman-identified ritual body. Different drama performativity genres and live drama apply gender division. The divide aspect echoes the old mind-matter dichotomy characterised in traditional western philosophy and aesthetics whereby the queer practitioners and feminine dominated in the live arts arena located on financial and physical margins of visual and theatre arts world (Jenkins 2014).

Several temporary critics have coincided that progressing body location in the political realms due to stoical endeavours of feminist critical practice which has persistently foregrounded actions relating to sexuality, sex, and gender as the fundamental categorisations surrounding cultural meanings (Jenkins 2014). Although diversity exists within its numerous branches, a feminist discourse underlying is that artistic representations and indigenous conventions of male and female have necessarily conflated gender and sex and naturalised ideological notions. The conception of an informed perception of what it means to be female or male is common hence privileging either sex. Feminism ought to adopt strategic essentialism which sticks on the commonality sense based on body designation as a female, a body subjected to appropriate conditioning and cultural expectations (Tiidenberg and Gómez 2015). The society should challenge exploitation, present alternatives and deconstruct patriarchal constructions of a woman. Other subjects like disabled, lesbians, gays, and generally women are all liable to traditional judgment against the norms of inferior, lacking, deviant, expensive, and excessive universal subject. Such culturally imposed emanating negative connotations mark the bodies of such ingrained transgression. Postmodernism advocacy of resistance versus sin is necessary. Political art should aim at questioning the normative basis but not out bursting normative culture tabooed bounds (Rapport 2014).

According to Jenkins (2014), the Descartes dualism concept refers to the mind and body as distinct substances. Descartes held that the material body and immaterial mind are two independent substances and that interact. For the secular humanist, evolutionist and materialist worldview the conception is hard to accept because accepting it is admitting supernaturalism. Bible believers assent dualism disregard individuals with the opposite global view who are obliged to reject it. Dualism makes sense of evident branches of body and mind. Our modes of thought seem to dramatically differ from our methods of extension (Karras 2017). Dualism believed that that human beings are composed of matter ( a physical substance that plays, walks and talks) and mind (the nonphysical stuff which imagines, doubts and recalls the melody to “Lady of Spain”.

Descartes adhered to the mechanical image of the material world which reveals that matter persists on its business and sticks to its laws unless the mind interferes with it. The thought of man then certainly pulls the body levers to do its commands. Exactly the mode in which the physical body interacts with the nonphysical soul is a contention point. Descartes perceived the brain pineal gland as the interaction locus between the body and mind since he believed that this organ was the only distinct brain part. The mind and brain are different (Goetz 2016). The brain links the body and mind, but due to its physical nature, it is not the real mind. The spirit of man is inseparable whereas the body is changeable. You shave your hair, remove the body extremities or internal organs, but the loss will not reduce your mind. He thought that human beings are the only dualistic creatures and placed other animals in the purely physical realm, solely acting on instinct and natural laws. Descartes could doubt the physical world and as well his body existence. However, he did not question the presence of his mind. Challenging itself is a thinking process, proving the soul exists. Through his doubting process, he acknowledged that, despite the uncertain real world, his mind remained unchanged and whole, therefore distinct from the physical world (Goetz 2016).

Regarding Foucault, a conversion in power execution that emerged the 18n century kicked off, as life became a concern object for power. Foucault uses the term Biopower to describe current strategies, and power tactics focused on populations and individual bodies. The legacy of Michel Foucault is that of bodies’ eruption in at least two aspects, the political sphere and the research field. In the political area, various dominion forms traverse the definition of mutual relations and identity (whether of race, genre or class). The initiators present such enterprise not merely as a paradigm quest or academic research inflexion able to dominate specific philosophical or historical issue (Tiidenberg and Gómez 2015). Usually, it is a contribution of the political, cultural, and social regime of bodies within the field of theory. Foucault disagrees ideological that people wield power through coercion or dominion sovereignty acts; instead, he views power as pervasive and dispersed. He regards power as a truth regime which pervades the community and which is in constant negotiation and flux. According to Michael, acquisition of authority is through accepted scientific understanding, knowledge and truth. Foucault did not precisely spell out the modes in which the panoptic (Deumert 2014).

Visibility logic had to convert to effectively operate in a setting where its subjects did not undergo incessant confinement.  Panopticon portrays both the power/knowledge summation and a different transformation. The subjection of inmates to total visibility to an assumed stare prevails. The Panopticon acts “to cause in the prisoner permanent profile and state of consciousness which assures the automatic power functioning. As opposed to the dungeon of the monarchy, massive power, it is light, because the self-watching of the inmate makes him the principal subject. The panopticon is a permanent framework; hence transformation occurs (Tiidenberg and Gómez 2015).

Establishment of the individualist conception of transgression was due to modernist artistic practices. Taboo and norms breaking are viewed as a creative and individual liberation act as well as an appropriate self-explanation means. Partly, such a transgression understanding encouraged the romantic fancy regarding the creative genius; it simultaneously politicised, socialised and de-spiritualized it (Tiidenberg& Gómez 2015). In consideration of the transgression individualist idea identification of a basic premise of such an invention: an individual resolve determines the activity, and the result is liberation as well as the condition she or he incurs. However, this premise evades many crucial points: an individual social nature, the freedom of social contents and, most appropriately, the socially directing character of norms and taboos (Jenkins 2014). The liberation ideology which is a transgression basis represents norms and taboos as something given socially, something objecting transgression, restricting and rebelling individuality expression — the doctrine self-evident requiring no grounding. Crime breaks a pattern and hence generates a shock wave throughout the social system. There are abundant historical examples of breakers’ tragic destinies. A significant feature of current transgression approaches is that transgression develops and emerge norms as well as categories of normality and identities (Jenkins 2014). George Bataille, a philosopher, has inserted much of postmodern framework: what transgression does is the completion of the taboo, not negation. Karras (2017), states that there is a need for both embodied sociology and philosophy, this will enhance a fundamental shift from the present disposition so rife in social thought nowadays. The body theorisation is highly disembodied commonly he masculinity way and lived bodies to modern social theorising. The body sociology subject and objectifies the body externally. Philosophically, Drew Leder, an author believes that the human experience is personification is).

Transgression implies the crossing or breaking of the physical boundaries within the existing order. The limits aim at confining the human body in certain historically and sociocultural ways in a specific way.  Despite the sociocultural challenges reality remains that people can transgress executive orders through their bodies (Deumert 2014). Deumert, (2014) documents that, the order problems can practically approach is transgression questions and vice versa. From the political philosophers’’ viewpoint the fact that the bodies of transgression exist against, within and irrespective of any current order is an indicator of an ineradicable, unsolvable and everlasting disagreement between the society and the individuals. The individual-society conflict is to meet inclusivity democracy (Deumert 2014).

The discussion of particular body case is rampant whereby questions regarding the current order models arise. Indeed, their life and existence, more so when self-perceived sufficient, confronts all the assumed bodies of respective individuals disappearing with their necessity conversion in ‘dys-appearing’ bodies. It refers to the ‘abnormal’ and ‘out of function’ bodies and concerning the normalcy standard the group members uncritically take for granted. There is a lack of confidence in dealing with real lives at all levels of interactions (Deumert 2014).

The body is defined according to its shape basically in differentiation from the human body standard appearance regarding weight, height, proportionate and correct distribution of body parts, and in the current generation, also internal makeup. Recurring characters construct the ideal human body definition hence normality in the statistical sense, though such normalcy results into ‘norm’ in a normative sense. Moreover, the group of characters demarcating the healthy human body is fond of evolution over time and in space, that is to say historically culturally (Tiidenberg and Gómez 2015). Hence, the point driven is that typical human body reference results in the conception of abnormal or not- standard bodies that should be either normalised, if necessary, or variously marginalised if impossible. Secondly, avoiding abnormal masses is absurd both about newborns and a current population whose bodies intentionally or accidentally change in a lifetime. Transgressed bodies identification is through observation of those that do not conform to cultural, political and social rules governing the presumptuous expected shape of an ordinary human body (Tiidenberg and Gómez 2015).

According to Deumert (2014), the two usual relevant cases are ‘‘intersexual’ bodies and ‘visibly disabled’ bodies connoted as fully functional and dysfunctional. Moreover, the health and illness distinction is questioned especially if the bodies can live to disregard their disability. The body can perform ‘able body’ normal functions. Likely, intersexual bodies question the possibility to build up binary opposing feminine and masculine bodies. An assumption that sexual dimorphism the human bodies’ fundamental rule with consideration of occurring diversity an error prevails (Deumert 2014).The hermaphrodite myth embodies the disorder fear associated that the original shape variance of bodies presents concerning the regime of heteronormative sex. Intersexual bodies, therefore, unmask the original order artificial character based upon the sex binary opposition, whose sexual roles execute reproductive purposes. Additionally, they unmask the ‘notion of nature’ to which we regularly refer revealing that it is a notion constructed inter-subjectively minus a chance to claim any nature correspondence (Tiidenberg and Gómez 2015).

Intersexual and disabled bodies are but a few aspects that transgress the social norms of taboos. Ageing bodies and fat bodies too play a crucial role in transgression. More so, in contemporary times, the imposing of to be ‘slim’ imperative is more compelling to the feminine gender. Socially, fat body implies marginalisation, as well as regular, normalises attempt (Montelius and Nygren 2014). Fat bodies violate rules about the harmonious human body shape; thus different stigmatisation types are associated. In such a situation, they are emerging as fat is a strengthful political opinion since it finds out the anatomical body proportional canons.  Ageing bodies are relevant transgression sites since they question the governing rules on a personal course of life modelling the political, social and cultural requests. Transgressing the governance rules such as; ageing bodies’ sexuality and the quietness about disability signifies establishing feasible articulation rules and attribution to diachronically individual bodies (Rapport 2014).

The aporetic reflection nature of a norm, therefore, becomes evident. Researchers argue that the transgression sexual aspect is crucial in establishing the consumer identity and the consumption ideology and thus the body liberation and unavoidable sexuality acquires an ideological feature that is both employable and hides the consumption pressure (Hooks 2014). According to Hooks (2014), the sexual citizen concept relates to three different pleasure versions: the pleasure of power (political), sexual, and liberation (ideological). The tendency of treating freedom as sexual liberation and the developing of new expression forms in the public domain is common. Nevertheless, there is a political violence aspect in a transgression act: breaking taboos and social norms compel others to correspond to the new cultural and social condition (Hooks 2014). The ideologists and fans of transgressed action will debate that the activities undertaken will liberate themselves, and also assist the society to free it (Jenkins 2014).

However, the deed of transgression is usually forceful interruption of the healthy life of individuals and their normalcy understanding. It is significant to consider this act of violence with honour to others while analysing transgression pleasure. Sexual expression and enforcement instil pleasure (Gurrieri, Brace-Govan ­and Cherrier 2016). Religiously happiness is obtained through the sin legalisation desanctification of sacred things. The mass media culture and contemporary art echo the violent Image-products of transgressions linked to pornography. Transgressed Artistic practices characteristically employ shockingly open sexuality seducing effect, obscenity; desecration demonstrated in public since it draws mass media attention and attracts the audience.

Von Hagens attracted seven hundred and eighty thousand visitors with his scandalous exhibition. Hagens produced upright bodies like classical Greek sculptures; some were showing their entrails while others were holding their skin as prizes. Therefore, he performed many transgression acts, transgressing multiple boundaries and breaking many taboos, and yet the operation benefited Hagens and made him famous. First, the tomb was opened, pulled into the daylight separating the grave and the public space (Gurrieri, Brace-Govan, ­and Cherrier 2016). The area of the exhibition turned into a cemetery with assembled corpses exposed. Museums similarly show mummies, but it is usual. The preparation itself is a burial act: after all, most cultures prepare the body before burial (Deumert 2014). The exhibition visitors access the tomb and engage in an otherworldly activity when the beings present as decorative objects. The dead bodies’ manipulation like simple items occurs; hence archaeology has been deconstructed. Archaeologists have been excavating sites for centuries not considering their activities as desecrating the dead. Commonly scientific research studies fail to naturally evaluate activities executed for instance identification of corpses as research objects, thus breaks its links to ethics and religion (Osgood 2014). The scientific and artistic process boundary transgresses dimensions related to disease, human-physical and death. Hagens has affirmed that he was liberating humanity (Gurrieri, Brace-Govan, ­and Cherrier 2016).


Transgression is a complex notion with a historical interconnectedness. Transgression reaffirms and disconfirms the existing social, cultural, and political rules. Transgression destabilises taboos but as well ensures their effectiveness. Taboo means forbidden or sacred. The violation and taboo phenomena are considered omnipresent both geographically and temporally in that they exist in all cultures and societies at all times. Transgression strengthens the limits, it indicates the limits’ consciousness not their absence and it can also perfect with resistance and power structures (Brook 2014). Indeed, the consciousness in the postmodern era reflects the heightening faith diminishing in a real or stable worldview as enshrined in the cultural establishment metanarratives and it’s medical, legal, political, religious and aesthetic bodies (Jenkins 2014). However, the deed of transgression is a compelling interruption of the healthy life of individuals and their normalcy understanding. It is essential to consider this act of violence with fealty to others while analysing transgression pleasure. (Gurrieri, Brace-Govan, ­ and Cherrier 2016).


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