What does it mean to have a radical body?

By Hope Mohr

Program Note for the 2017 Bridge Project, “Radical Movements: Gender and Politics in Performance.” Comments welcome: hopemohr@gmail.com



"Definition is both the problem and the lifeboat in the storm." -Ariel Goldberg


the dancing body the horizontal body


Can part of the body be radical if other parts are not?

Can you transmit your radical body to someone else?


the body in transition the joyful body


“What does not belong in this world is the only thing worth making.” - Paul Chan


The radical body is unfinished.


Churning. Spinning. Dreaming.


From the Latin radicalis "of or having roots."

U.S. youth slang use is from 1983, from 1970s surfer slang meaning "at the limits of control."


 Reversing. Re-orienting.


Just because something is new doesn't mean it's radical. 

Just because you have radical aesthetics doesn't mean you have radical politics. And vice versa.


 the outraged bodies in public assembly


Radical movement can come from the left or the right.

If there is no unified we, what does that mean for movement building?


 the exhausted body the homeless body


Sometimes I need you to imagine what I’m capable of being. 


 Improvising. Shaking shit up.


Radical is context-dependent.

What is radical to me might be ordinary to you.


 the body that acts before the mind is ready

the body that insists on pleasure


Is my body radical if I think it is?

Does radical need an audience to be radical?


the ambiguous body


“What are the categories through which one sees?” –Judith Butler

Abstraction can feel radical if you’re expecting narrative.


the body that refuses to go numb

the body that is not a market niche


Radical bodies leave potential in their wake.


the aging body


Radical movement forces us to ask: what next?


the body that is not afraid




Special thanks to the artists and changemakers on the Radical Movements program and the HMD Advisory Board.