The Torture of Meditation

Jump into the UnKnown: Future Rhythms, curated by Mike Watson, S.a.L.E Docks, Venezia.
November 2015

A meditation workshop designed to highlight the human body as a comprehensive capsule which contains the basic materials necessary for well being, confronting the equally aggressive and negative uses to which the body can be used with little or no use of tools or equipment.

Basic torture methods often involve little or no equipment and can be carried out without a torturer even touching their subject. For example, a victim can be told to stand in one position with their arms held aloft for a prolonged period of time, creating extreme discomfort Meditation similarly uses no or little equipment and can be an equally challenging experience, albeit an essentially positive one.

Meditation is not just about calming the mind. It is also for clearing the mind of unimportant things, such as obsessions with celebrity, fashion, etc., in order to focus on more important things, such as injustice, the wars that are driving people out of their countries to seek refuge in Europe, climate change and so on.

The Sadhu who gives up his family life to dedicate himself to meditation does not live a comfortable life. He sleeps on the ground, eating the food people sometimes give him. Playing on the dyad discomfort/discomfort, I intend to use minimal equipment, a performer and volunteers to examine the potential of the human body as a vehicle for an journeying through a diverse physical landscape.

© Robert Pettena 2022