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Narrated live performances

With live performances, we go back at the core of what the body can offer and translate within the space and time shared with the viewers.


Lillies is a happening that placed the voice and movement of five women within an interactive installation made of photographic fabric prints and a three meter square open box.

It's narrative digs into mythology while confronting it to the story of nowadays women, physically interpreted by the performers, while being read out loud by the narrator, just like in ancient times. The performance lasted twenty minutes during which the public became an active oratorium of the story being revealed, through movement, words, and voice, along floating images.


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

Lilies - Performative series -

Photographs, films, installation and narrative poems by P. Raybaud

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

Costumes by Kelsey Dikes

Directed and Choreographed by P. Raybaud

Captation by Rebecca Rezhkani-Hilton

April-May 2019

Lilies merges in a physical installation the merging of performative photography, construction and montage of both space and body, a play on scales and perspective. Within the constructed frame happened a live performance and spoken words, questioning where to put the self in the eye of these mediums, while reinterpreting greek poet Hesiode's myth of the birth of humanity.


  How do we shape the artistic subject according to a specific 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? An image of an end made of previous 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 form images, to build oneself within memory. What is a start? Where do we start? What is our heritage, and where do we forget?

Hesiode wrote a poetry book, Work and Days, about the greek mythological interpretation of humanity's birth. I constructed a parallel between this idea of birth, and us performer's personal growth story. Five women became the metaphor of these periods of Time, each being linked to the mythological myth of their generation, in parallel with their own story, and own learning of their past.

The stories are told live by 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: an age that had to be torn appart from it's roots even more than its ancestors, but aware, and asking for answers to the sky. But the questioning gathers into fighting for the right answer. The Age finishes by destroying itself because of pride and wounds from loosing its history. 

Interpreted by Marah Haj.

She looks for the sky while bowing horizontally to 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. But soon its harmony will become a source of duality with the birth of the next generation.


Interpreted by Anastasia Solay

She gives horizontally from the sky

- The Age of Silver: born from the wound of injustice and the need to tell. Refuses the worship its past, wants to move forward, but because the generation is wounded, it will do mistakes, and loose a link with their roots. They had to place themselves as the center of their surviving.

Interpreted by Tanya Chiwara
She leaves in a biased diagonal

- The Age of The Heroes: trying to balance its predecessor, 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 their battle for recognition finishes by destroying them, and the link with the first generation is forever broken.

Interpreted by Rachel Harrison.

She leaves in a diagonal trying to reach back to the first point

 - The Present of Hesiode is a time where all of the previous wounds are still left open, born in pain and sorrow, burdens work and ignorance, corruption, suffering. Detached from previous roots and beliefs, it is said this time won't even be scared of the vengeance of the gods, that they can’t connect to no more.


  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 closed on what they can’t support.


Interpreted by Pauline Raybaud.

She is reaching out to all the cardinal directions

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 itself is subject to a temporal composition and dismantled in four parts echoing the performance and Hesiod’s mythological poem.

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 draws 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.

Sketchbook extracts of the performance and script mapping. © 
Live performance, Central Saint Martins,
Mai 2019.
Photography by John Sturrock.

Within the live performance, the spoken words will simultaneously tell and enclenche The Age's story and corresponding movement.

Photography by John Sturrock

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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