The Maid of Desolation

As the story of Lilith continues we see her take flight. The progression from Lilith’s life in the Garden of Eden to her chosen life of solitude is depicted by a flesh hook suspension performance for this photographic series. The choice was not an arbitrary one, nor was it adopted merely for shock value. We needed a distinct progression between what was Lilith’s life with Adam, to the one she suffers alone. 

Lilith is no longer in bondage but this liberation comes at a great cost. Upon refusing to return when summoned by three angels, she finds herself an outcast and the origin of the deaths of hundreds of her children. She turns to an unknown wilderness. 

At this point in the story, it was important for us to show Lilith free of constraints; this was the reason I (Luna) risked performing this suspension without the use of a harness.  

The photographs from this scene of our series depict Lilith’s flight to the cave where she confronts her desolation. Lilith’s flight does not only represent the freedom to exercise her agency but also a very visceral acknowledgement to the unknown which lays ahead as she enters her period of darkness.

Digital scans of the negatives can be seen in a previous post. The following video is a behind the scenes look of the creation of these photos, the moment before coming down from the suspension. 

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.