Subtle-Body in Performance Art

Practice-based research in performance art and documentation with focus on the mystery of movement. Artistic practice and teaching go hand in hand in discovering the rhythms exposed by the bodies and imposed on the bodies, to investigate how can the human body be guided to the desire for welcoming what is strange and anew

Main Researcher

Teresa Luzio


10.10.20 — present

The research project Subtle-Body in Performance Art investigates the subtle dimensions of the body, in the field of fine arts, considering A/r/tography, a practice based-research (Irwin, 2017) as a field of knowledge, i.e. enquiring into the world through a continuous process of artistic creation (Fine Arts and Performance Art), and of writing, university teaching and learning, not separate but interconnected, as a way of relating and enriching experiences of the order of the sensible.

The project is based on the concept of the subtle-body, which seeks to recognise in the subtle dimension of bodies and in the creative act a pregnant dimension of life, as Etty Hillesum tells us, an invitation to trust events beyond their appearance. In the first instance, we start from understanding performance art as a space for events to happen, offering the possibility for the sensible to dialogue, and as an alternative for recovering the body as a creative and political environment (Garoian, 1999).

In terms of Fine Art Education the project recognises the value of introducing new curricular proposals in the academic context, namely to develop strategies and alternatives for researching and extending pedagogical practices in the arts through the body as tool, investing in national and international partnerships. In recent years, a number of theoretical reflections have contributed to recognising other ways of teaching and learning, particularly perspectives that break with contemporary Eurocentric thinking in pedagogical practices: “Decolonial Pedagogy” in which the creation of intercultural dialogues makes it possible to change the relations of educational praxis, the structures, conditions and power devices that maintain inequality and discrimination, (Walsh, 2023); “Curriculum-Placenta” understood as a metaphorical curriculum that resembles a container where the structure of the curriculum document houses the hidden dimension of the curriculum nourished by the subjectivities of students and teachers, (Acaso, 2009); “Pedagogia Antropofágica” which is the ‘devouring’ capacity of everything that is strange to the student, in other words, what is new and unknown to them and which is being explored, swallowed up, providing different and inspiring perspectives for the construction of theoretical and practical knowledge, thus creating a repertoire, (Barcelos, 2008); the “Ecologia dos Saberes” in which the body in the learning process is implicated in its sensory and cognitive relationship, because knowledge is essentially corporeal, (Santos, 2018).

The researcher proposes to develop a research practice based in sharing teaching experience through the creation of individual and collaborative exercises, and artistic practice through participation in art and research residency programs, exhibitions and articles.

Acaso, María (2009). La educación artística no son manualidades. Madrid: UCM.

Barcelos, Valdo (2008). Educação Ambiental Sobre Princípios, metodologias e atitudes. Petrópolis: Editora Vozes.

Garoian, Charles R. (1999). Performing Pedagogy: Toward An Art Of Politics. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Hillesum, Etty (2020). Diário 1941-1943. Lisboa: Assírio & Alvim.

Irwin, Rita L. (2017). A/r/tography as Practice-Based Research. UK: Routledge.

Santos, Boaventura de Sousa (2018). Construindo as Epistemologias do Sul Para um pensamento alternativo de alternativas Volume I. Buenos Aires: CLACSO.

Walsh, Catherine E. (2023). Rising Up. Living On. Re-Existences, Sowings, and Decolonial Cracks. Durham and London: Duke University Press.


This work is financed by national funds through FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, I.P., in the scope of the Programmatic Funding allocated to the Research Laboratory in Design and Arts (LIDA) with the reference “UIDP/05468/2020″