An hour-long meditation made by a trio of virtuosic artists on three continents under quarantine, “this body is so impermanent…” is a multi-disciplinary film performance based on a passage from the Vimalakirti Sutra, a foundational Buddhist text from the first century CE. Directed by renowned theatre director Peter Sellars, the project is a creative response to COVID-19, a call to community to learn and heal together during a time of sickness.
The passage used from the Vimalakirti Sutra is one of the most profound and penetrating descriptions of the human body in early literature, one that understands illness as more than affliction. It also acts as a messenger. The text contrasts the body that is impermanent, that is fated to be broken and destroyed, with the body of reality, with the body that is formed by all our good actions, wisdom, generosity, love, patience, morality, transcendence, and shared kindness and courage. Sellars orchestrates breath and brushstroke, movement and mindfulness into a visual poem of stunning power.
‘this body is so impermanent…’ becomes a memorial of shared suffering, and a message of beauty and hope.
Join Peter Sellars on zoom, live in discussion with Aoife Abbey - an intensive care specialist and author of 'Seven Signs of Life' on 11th May ahead of the films release.