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performative photography

Lilies Of  - Performative series -

Performance, photographs, films, installation and narrative poems.

Performers - Marah J. Jah, Rachael Harrison, Pauline P. Raybaud, Anastasia Solay, Tanya Chiwara.

Costumes by Kelsey Dikes

Directed, Choreographed, Scripted by P. Raybaud. 

April-May 2019

Narrated performances

  Lilies Of is a hybrid performative series and installation piece, that reassembles various perspectives of my practice.

  Not only it contains in its physical medium the merging of performative photography, construction and montage of both space and body, a play on scales and perspective, the prospect of a life performance and spoken words, and the projection of a live-film born from this assemblage and dictated by it’s shape. But it also tells the story of a long process questioning where to put the self in the eye of these mediums.


  How to shape the artistic subject according to a biased vision of its surrounding? How to materialize that surrounding and introspection? Where does the eye recognize itself as an I?

  How does memory of ideas birth? Where does the trigger arise? First an image of an end that then gradually forms itself in various threads? Is the game of memory finding how those threads lead back to their start? A puzzle for the self?

  Lilies is not only the metaphor of the birth of an image and the birth of oneself, not only the search of where it ended from, but is the core questioning of what pushed one to see an image, or oneself, a search for representing an unknown image that has been present in blackened threads since the start. And what is the start, where, and what is the heritage that comes out of it, and where do we forget.

  Four women became the metaphor of four periods of Time, each carrying the mythological prospect of their generation, according to the Work and Days by the ancient greek poet Hesiod, and to their own learning of their past.

 The story of humanity’s degradation is told by the mouth of the fifth character, the Present, and projected through the eyes of the Futur, materialized by the camera.

Analogue photography - P. Raybaud

- The Age of Bronze: still a negative age, but lightly more turned towards the sky. But asking for the wrong questions, trying to fight for the right answer, finishes by destroying itself in pride and because of the loss of respect of the past.

She gives birth horizontally from the ground.

  In the XVIIIth century before J-C , the greek Hesiode concealed the various sources and beliefs of the birth of the Ages, distinguishing four times:

  - The Age of Gold: eternal spring, spontaneity, without rules because without burdens, free, just, honest. Ignores the wounds of trattorie, abandon, reject, humiliation and injustice. Ignores the burden of work.

She gives horizontally from the sky.

  - The Age of Silver: inferior generation, born from injustice and the need to tell. Refuses the worship its past, doesn’t respect memory because sees itself as the center of its suffisance.

She leaves in a biased diagonal.

- The Age of The Heroes: the positive balance to its predecessor. They are looking back to the first generation and try to seek for answers. They are half gods and half humans, trying to generate a recognition for their being, filled with the quest for honor. But there battle for recognition finishes by destroying them, and the link with the first generation is forever broken.

She leave in a diagonal trying to reach back the first point.

  - The Present is now a time the warthogs all of the previous wounds, it is born in pain and sorrow, burdens work and ignorance, corruption, suffering, envies and honors the man that is insolent and full of malice, not even scared of the vengeance of the gods, that they can’t see.

  This time is now and this time is alone, no one above nor under enters in consideration, even the last gods Nemenis and Pudeur are on their way to leave the earth, with a heavy soul and eyes that can’t support.

  - The Futur time of now is said, still in regard to the mythology of Hesiode, to be the even more negative counterpart of the Present, a time where each man is disconnected not only to its golden past, but also from any previous learning and ancestors, not even knowing the meaning of worship and humility, not even able to locate its been in regard to the living up and under earth.

These times are the subjects contained in the Box, the photographs, the nature of the text, the movements and the use of space, confined and restricted to its materiality.

Wood installation 3m²
- printed photography on fabric -
set for live performance and spoken words.

  The narration, later live spoken, is subject to a temporal composition and dismantled in four parts echoing the performance and Hesiod’s mythological poem.

Sketchbook extracts of the performance and script mapping. © 

We come up with a shaped diagram that becomes the core of the whole installation’s structure: the narrative, the performance set, the movements, and the photographs composition all link to that structure.

  Each thread is divided into four intersections: the first one tells the story of the myth and its burdens, the second drawn a parallel with the birth of a creation and the burden of memory, the third one connects to the performer’s personal relation to its corresponding time (Gold being Birth, Silver being the first detachment, Bronze being the first castration of the father, and Heroes being the the ones looking back for recognition), and the fourth intersection represents a metaphor of humanity’s mistakes and repeats.

Live performance, Central Saint Martins,
Mai 2019.
Photography by John Sturrock.

Each line then takes back in its movement and in its narrative the triggers of the four interactions. And the spoken words will simultaneously tell and enclenche their next movement. The other times in the meantime being blocked and repeating the four principal movements.

Photography by John Sturrock

The performance then follows these parallel cuttings: four principal moves each time one Age arrives at its last intersection, guided by the spoken words that simultaneously enclenche its descendent to let tell its story, and the performer to tell its time.

The movements are then cut in response to the diagrams, and each sign is a representation of an Age’s wound, constantly repeated when not being triggered to change, and then back again.

Photography by John Sturrock
Schermafbeelding 2019-05-27 om 19.58.51.
Captures of live performance.
A film by Becci Hilton.

Lilies Of - final performance - shortcut

filmed by Becci Hilton

Nb: due to external circumstances, the seen performance had to dissociate itself from the choreography and embrace the improvitation of live shows.

 Copyright © Pauline P. Raybaud
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