Milo Rau’s Lam Gods

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a play in my life (unless nativities at the children’s schools counts), so the name of Milo Rau is new to me. But apparently he’s something of an enfant terrible in theatre, and his current play, based on the stained glass windows of St Bavo’s in Ghent, is courting a little but of controversy, not least because of…

Adam and Eve simulating sex in front of an audience of children.

As The Guardian reports it, the children simply ‘looked bored’, but the grown ups seem to think this is awful.

I’m not entirely convinced that simulating sex is entirely necessary, but the photos, which depict naked grown ups in the presence of children, appear to reinforce the idea that nudity in the presence of children isn’t such a big thing, not entirely shocking to them and likely to create feelings of boredom, once they’re past the giggling stage. It all seems rather natural, once past the giggling stage, and humdrum to them.

In the climate of ‘grab ’em by the pussy’ and locker room ‘hi jinks’ by students who think it’s fun to humiliate and hold captive a young woman to the point where she fears she may be raped -simply because the people allegedly undertaking these actions were never taught respect or had the whole teenage male goggle-eyed, bully-boy mindset worked through, even in high school.

Making children aware of the appearance of naked bodies, their own, siblings, parents, whoever, still seems to me a way in which to foster better understanding and respect for one another at an early age. I see that in naturism all the time. 5 & 6 year olds just play naked naturally without thought. By the time they’re 15 & 16 all sense of curiosity, even with puberty coursing their veins, has gone. I’ve witnessed a bunch of 16 year old boys at a naturist resort totally fixated on the naked soccer game they’re playing on the beach, entirely oblivious to the 16 year old girls flicking through teenage magazines for make up tips. All curiosity is gone, the naked body of the opposite gender unremarkable. And I believe naturist children generally carry forward that lesson forward into adult life and know how to behave, in terms of respect, for the other gender.


4 thoughts on “Milo Rau’s Lam Gods

  1. As long time nudist we have seen children grow up in nude settings and have never witnessed any adverse affect on them. The fact is most if not all love being nude as they grow up. Simulated sex is another story, not sure that helps anything.

  2. Do the kids really understand the entire sexual dynamic? I think the introduction of nudity as natural is great, but if the focus is entirely sexual, then this is a classic example of the “theatre of the absurd!” Naked hugs!

  3. I’m not sure it’s central to the play. I get the impression it tells the story of the Garden of Eden, but there’s that point where the apple and the snake get involved…

    But then, who knows? I don’t quite get theatre at all (modern stuff, anyway) and Rau would appear to base his work on upsetting people. On the other hand, I guess the purpose of the production of art is, sometimes, to upset people.

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