Lilith: Myth to Flesh is an invocation to the ineffable spirit whose dominion is shadows. This spirit aims focus at the transformative powers of purposeful suffering standing in defiance of any authority which demands acquiescence. This defiance leads to exile; into the unknown where the only light illuminating one’s path is the light of inner knowing.

Throughout time, mythologies told us about enlightenment and salvation being gained by purposeful suffering. One such story is the story of Lilith, the first woman.

Lilith was created of the same earth as Adam and believed herself to be his equal. However, God determined that Adam should rule over all life. When Adam attempted to assert his dominance Lilith realized that this robbed her of her agency and fled the Garden of Eden. She found herself in an unknown wilderness where she suffered her resolve rather than return to a placid, unnatural subservience. In Exile Lilith undergoes the trial of her becoming where she suffers the physical and psychical ordeal of giving birth; a rite of passage. She emerges transformed to claim her rightful place between civilization and wilderness.

The story of Lilith illuminates a path which can guide us through the dark. This project is a documentation of a woman undertaking this journey in the flesh. By approximating the physical as well as metaphorical ordeals of this tale, the artists intend to stir the viewers to a collective revelation of the redemptive powers of suffering where purpose of a higher order makes pain sacred.

This project was conceived by performance artist Luna Duran and photographer Gretchen Heinel.  For the photo series aspect, Luna Duran performed the role of Lilith, while Gretchen Heinel captured Luna's performance as still photographic images. During our photo series, Luna underwent trials of the flesh, such as hook suspension and temporary subdermal implantation, in order to open her mind and body to the suffering Lilith endured; thereby inviting the spirit of Lilith to speak through her.

Luna and Gretchen also endured a blood-letting and hook suspension ritual performance during a live event on October 24th, 2015 in reverence of the Moon whose journey through the night sky is mythically represented by Lilith’s tale. The performance was accompanied by the live music performed by the band Evoken. The first draft of the photographs of these series were shown at this event.

We open ourselves to your teachings. We break as you did allowing the light of inner wisdom through the cracks. With this work we call the voice of inner knowing; birthed and by pain inspired. For you Mother of all, we leave this body – we leave this body of work as an offering.

Lilith: Myth to Flesh is a collaborative project undertaken by performance artist Luna Duran and photographer Gretchen Heinel.  By undergoing ordeals of the flesh, we aim to understand and communicate the sacred and transformative pain which Lilith endured on her journey from human to goddess.