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A conversation with Véronique Caye

episode 18
Jan 20 2021

Theatre director and filmmaker Véronique Caye shares the inspiration and concepts behind her mesmerizing film and performance work

About our guest

Véronique Caye is a theatre director, filmmaker, and theoretician. She obtained a Master’s degree in Fine Arts at the University Paris VIII with a thesis exploring the relationship between visual art and performance art. She develops hybrid and experimental performances through visual and sound research based on the creative poetic use of digital technologies. Her performances specifically question the tension between the video and the presence of the actor and the audience. Since 2002, she has created several multimedia performances, most notably in France, Morocco and Japan. In these hybrid works, she invites the spectator to discover another world.


“ The pirate woman is the heroine of her own life”

“Sleeping Beauty”, video still

︎ see Sleeping Beauty Performance

“For me the pirate woman is a new woman. She’s a pagan and a mystic, ruled by one belief, her own”

“Hors du Labyrinthe” a show by Véronique Caye and Alexandrine Serre

“She is a woman who one day decides to take back the reign of her life and to live in peace and harmony with her own desires”

“Nos Horizons”, video installation and performance

︎ Upcoming exhibition HORIZON at galerie Analix Forever, February 26th - March 8th, 2021

Mémoire du Vent, Adonis, Collection Poésie/Gallimard (n° 246), Gallimard, 2002

Je vis mais sans vivre en moi-même, Thérèse d’Avila, Editions Allia, 2008

L’érotisme, Georges Bataille, Editions de Minuit, 2011

C’est tout, Marguerite Duras, Edition POL, 1999
Etre une femme, Anaïs Nin, Edition Stock, 1977

I am excited to welcome theatre director and filmmaker Véronique Caye to the Raw and Radical Women on the Arts podcast today. She’s here to talk about the inspiration behind her work and the radical concept of being a “pirate” woman.

Véronique develops hybrid and experimental performances by experimenting with digital technology, and especially focuses on heightening and exploring the tension between the video, the actor, and the audience.

Thematic inspiration behind her work

“I explore the video multiplicity… that’s the staging of the image, visual set design, video documentaries, installation, and augmented reality. And also illusion and teaching,” she says. “So it’s a lot, but with these different forms I try to develop a dramaturgy of the image where the sensitive and poetic dominate the medium.”

Véronique credits a lot of her artistic inspiration to travel and the work of a number of poets.

“These readings and these trips all around the world put me on the path of what I call my epiphany. So, say a certain kind of philosophy of existential eroticism,” she says. “...to me it’s a philosophy of wondering, desire, of poetry, and a way of annotating every moment of life.”

“Sleeping Beauty”

But Véronique also explores the concepts of freedom and what it means to shake free of societal expectations. It was a central theme in her 2008 performance, “Sleeping Beauty,” which

featured a video showing different movie scenes of women fainting, or falling asleep. During the performance, women were invited to come sleep on the stage while the film montage played behind them. Their sleeping "performances" offered a striking contrast to the passive "fairy tale" sleep shown in the films.

“When you see the bodies sleeping for real in front of you, it's not… anymore, it’s not the sleeping beauty,” Véronique says. “It’s: I did what I want. I went to sleep during the time I should work… Those scenes are really important.”

“The Pirate Woman”

As part of pushing back against expectations, she has developed a concept she calls “the pirate woman,” a role model who is independent and rebellious, but who also feels that living with joy and respect for all human life is important.

“For me the pirate woman is a new woman. She’s a pagan and a mystic, ruled by one belief, her own,” Véronique says. “I can say it’s me, but it can be also you.”

The philosophy of the pirate woman is a dedication to “lifting the veil” and exploring what lies underneath our surface thoughts and our perception of reality.

“Lift the veil and then we see the reality,”  Véronique says, “and then we can start to be connected to others and to be connected to ourselves.”


next story ︎︎︎
Anne-Claire Bisch

General director of the
Geneva Free Ports and Warehouses Limited

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Camille Morineau

co-founder and director of AWARE
Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibition