Rachel Holmes

Research project: The Body without Identity


Utilizing Georges Bataille's notion of excess and sacrifice to conceptualize "the body without identity". Investigating how it appears in the space of taboo and exile. Characterizing this space as a state of dreaming, and mapping that onto the natural environment. Thereby reconstructing nature, investigating "plant agency" and building an ontology which re-configures modernity and offers an ecological theory of abundant becoming (possibility). 


My research interests are informed by my academic background in philosophy and practices with visual arts, performance and creative writing. In 2018-2019 I developed the Nordic network of performance art "Speaking Bodies" with funding from Nordic Culture Fund and Nordic Culture Point.  I have also presented the exhibitions "AM I REAL YET" (2018) and "Odyssey: through dreams, dimensions and capoeira" (2019) investigating the migration of the body (as doll) through dreamtime. In 2016 I completed an artistic residency at Cyprus College of Art, resulting in a performance of The Bacchae following my masters' thesis entitled "Paradox: The Tragic Problem". 

My writing has been published in journals such as Litro (London), The Catacombic Machine (Stockholm), Kunstportal (Nordic), RCAP (UK) and Squawk Back (New York). I am currently writing creatively for SNICKS AB, have been employed as Arts & Theatre Editor at The Metropolist (2014-2016) and taught visual arts from 2016-2018. 

Areas of research interest

  • Georges Bataille
  • Performance, ritual and taboo
  • Dream and body
  • Plant agency and ecology


  • MRes: Art, Theoy & Philosophy (Distinction) from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London
  • BSc: Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method (Honours) from London School of Economics

Funding or awards received

  • TECHNE studentship for doctoral study