The soul inspires me to talk about changed shapes of new bodies.

Neo-baroque performative segment by Lenz Foundation, Daphne_You must be my tree is a paragraph of Radical Change, visual, sonic and spatial translation based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Lenz Foundation’s work translates the poem in a performative action, a visual and plastic installation. The body acts the radical change of the metamorphic process, assuming the central linguistic role in this dramaturgical project. The speech is a little wooden fragment which the performer wears, outlining the multiple identity of the nymph Daphne. The theme of shapes and the changing bodies, which has been a dominant feature in the poetics of Lenz for many years, assumes a central linguistic role in this dramaturgical project. The body of the theatrical, visual, film, spatial and sound research are The Metamorphoses by Ovid translated by Maria Federica Maestri and Francesco Pititto in a contemporary performative script.

Daphne is a plastic inflection on the geometrical identity of virginal and pure body. The young lady gets shaped in the performer’s silouhette, by creating a figure composed by a wooden mosaic. The wooden matter aim to become a real new body, by sinking in the actress as a metamorphic work of extreme physical impact. Daphne’s body becomes as eternal and powerful as wood for a while. The dramaturgy is based on the exclusive and unique relationship between the performer and the wooden matter, while gestures and  sacrificial micro-actions are developped in an extremely simplified scene. The young and blonde nymph – based on Godard’s movies young ladies – comes in with a male suitcase which contains the prayer she will turn to her father to escape Apollo’s love. Her hands build a bodily shrine with wooden fragments to announce the imminent metamorphic act. Alone in the urban wood, Daphne obeys to the unique rapture of her orthopaedic hooves and begs her youth be a timeless eclampsia.

Based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses
Creation | Francesco Pititto, Maria Federica Maestri
Translation, Dramaturgy, Video | Francesco Pititto
Direction, Installation, Plastic elements | Maria Federica Maestri
Music | Andrea Azzali
Sound direction | Maria Federica Maestri
Performer | Valentina Barbarini
Light Design | Alice Scartapacchio
Duration | 40′



In this work there are striking Baroque and Post-Modern visuals that recall the moods of Matthew Barney. The players are the bodies themselves, shrouded in projections, masked by transparent plastic curtains, submerged in Perspex placentas, in a scene resembling an alchemical laboratory.
Il Corriere della Sera, Massimo Marino, 2007

[…]  an unsettling and beautiful Valentina Barbarini, sylvan or Martian creature or both. The word, reverberating like a grumbling volcano, mythical and distant, recalls the fragility of Nature and its mysterious vigour.
Rossella Battisti, L’Unità, 2007

Skip to content