Body Psalms Project         

a project to re-evaluate the body in a capitalist world

Tim's TEDx presentation on the Body Pslams, "The Erotic Crisis"

Body Psalms is a celebration of the sanctity of the body through performance rituals and video sculptures involving dancers and diverse ordinary people unfolding passages of mystical texts painted on their skin to create moving sculptural poetry. 

In a capitalist culture increasingly governed by the ethics of pornography, where nothing is too sacred to be exploited by amoral commercial forces, the body becomes the preferred currency.  Is this what we are meant for? 

This art is meant to invite dialog between separate value systems– personal, corporate and religious- that each one of us engages in our own way, but that are rarely addressed together.  I see the current devaluation of the body as akin to climate change- a world problem that, regardless of whether we ignore it or face it, will increasingly effect our lives.

“Approaching our own flesh with an attitude of deep respect
                 opens us to truly see dignity in others.”       
-Tim Holmes

View on YouTube

Tim's essay on the The Erotic Crisis explains the details of the catastrphic risk.

In Mirabai's Mountain the words
“two flames” combine to form the

"A Hart Longs" yet-to-be-released short film.

To view write: "HartLongs"

Body Psalms university course

"Shikibu"s House" fan dance

Project Statement

Body Psalms is a multi-tiered project in social engagement designed to challenge the ongoing devaluation of the human body in capitalist culture.  As capitalism and its accompanying values structure rapidly spreads around the world, ascending to a world monoculture, the meaning of the human body is dethroned from its exalted place in the history of art to become little more than a one-dimensional economic stimulant.  My preferred subject matter as an artist– the image of the human body, once a symbol of humanity's highest achievements and spiritual aspirations– is rapidly being drained of its meaning and impact across the world.

Body Psalms tries to encourage through art events, performances, exhibitions, and creative collaborations an exploration and re-evaluation of the flesh in this volatile time in human evolution.  The ultimate vision is to help create a meaningful, live community celebration (much like a religious ritual but without denomination) that would form the root around which a new perfectly-sustainable all-inclusive, human-centered culture could grow. As technology races toward artificial intelligence that sees little need for the body at all, our window of opportunity for real responsive embodiment is quickly closing...


The Body Psalms Project is a 15-year exercise in social engagement using art as a metaphor to reach people wherever their lives have meaning, whether that be through traditional institutions or on the street. Art is a radical act of the soul and this work is aimed at engaging our souls in creative struggle.  

"Word Made Flesh Made Word"  1:20

"The flesh is a metaphor for every body we know, our own, that of the human family and that of the the Great Mother the Earth.  We treat them all about the same."

-Tim Holmes

Body Psalms Project invites people to engage the value of the flesh at the level of their own body story. Each of us is a body immersed in a sensual world that's both painful and erotic. The flesh carries at once an inherent spiritual value, a sensuous and poetic value for life and an economic value to capitalist culture. But increasingly our bodies are subsumed in activity focused on economic and technological stories that have little to do with coming alive in a deeply embodied way.

We tend to treat the intimate garden of our flesh little better than the rest of nature, resulting in a deflation of the value of our bodies. But we abandon nature only at our peril.

“Our culture causes our daughters to carve up their own vibrant bodies.
This is a contemporary form of witchburning
”       -Tim Holmes

Body Psalms university performance


Body Psalms Project video teaser.
Explore the Body Psalms Project:

Festival Award Workshops / Exhibitions Films
Performances Participate / Discuss

Timeless art for troubled times

Creative Commons Copywrite • 2016 • Tim Holmes Studio