Blow your mind! Shards hailing, on superfluous violence to stop surviving


  • Simon(e) van Saarloos Dutch Art Institute



performativity and theatricality, sensational acts, feminism, queer theory, embodied knowledge, manifesto,


David Buckel set himself on fire to publicly stage the horrors of climate change, Delores “Lolita” Lebrón performed a sensational act in the US congress hall, hailing bullets while calling out: ¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre!

When do we recognize violence as violence? When is the absence of a counter-attack a form of compliance? Do the desires of activists need an expression of violence to establish an ‘otherwise’ that’s carefully repressed? In “Blow your mind! Shards hailing, on superfluous violence to stop surviving” various instances of violence weave together, obscuring the difference between theatre, terrorism, assault and sensational act.

The end of the world is a future for those who have been living like survivors. To explore the potential of violence as resistance, the author proposes to fight as an armless aimless army of vulnerables.

‘Violence happens upon you. But that’s not really true for everyone. As a white cis-woman with passport privilege, I can say I’m interested in violence. Interested in, interested in. Violence doesn’t surround me. It may happen to me, but I would perceive it as an extraordinary event, a happening. I approach violence. I approach, I approach – there’s enough comfortable distance to repeat my sentence and imagine it echoing.’


Author Biography

Simon(e) van Saarloos, Dutch Art Institute

Simon(e) van Saarloos (1990, Summit, New Jersey) is a writer, philosopher and performer living between Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Brooklyn, New York City. They published several books in Dutch including Ik deug / deug niet (a collection
of columns originally published in the Dutch national newspaper NRC), De vrouw die (a novel on a molecular biologist running the NYC marathon in a burqa) and Enz. Het Wildersproces (a feminist and queer report of the trial against the Dutch right- wing politician Geert Wilders). Their latest book, titled Herdenken herdacht, is
a non-fiction work about queer forgetfulness, white erasure and embodied commemoration. Simon(e)'s first book, Het monogame drama, was recently translated into English and is now titled Playing Monogamy (published by Publication Studio). Simon(e) also writes and performs theatre and regularly appears on stage as a lecturer and interviewer. Currently, they’re an MA student at the Dutch Art Institute. Their recent artist residencies include the Deltaworkers in New Orleans, Louisiana; the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft and the Be Mobile Create Together at IKSV, Istanbul.


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How to Cite

van Saarloos, Simon(e). 2020. “Blow Your Mind! Shards Hailing, on Superfluous Violence to Stop Surviving”. Performance Philosophy 5 (2):303-15.