project image
Roya Rafiq

first performed on November 2, 2018
Capsule, Kansas City, MO
performed twice in 2018


Lawrence, KS


The purpose of “In Bed With You” is to facilitate an aggressive emotional response among the audience through noise and layers of orality, with the goal of inducing psychological benefits. An ancillary objective of the performance was to challenge the “immobility” of the spectators.

The live soundscape was based on responses, primarily body language, from the audience and not solely through my stimulation of feelings of heartache. I vocalized poetry with a microphone and recreated my own flashbacks in a collected and performative manner.

The poem, a chorus, which I retrieved from an old social media post, is based on notions of youth, personal growth, and romantic love. I controlled the volume, pitch, and tone of my voice whilst controlling the pre-recorded clips and beats.

By reciting a poem to someone who no longer is present, while simultaneously attempting to produce a coherent soundscape sufficient for my allotted time, my work both limits and mirrors the aftermath of an irreparable partnership. Through repetition, only I can accept an experience and by rejecting the entirety of its structure, enable outsiders to challenge their own conceptions of how a traditional narrative can be represented.

Uneducated communication, unresolved memories, impaired speech, unidentified spirituality, internal turmoil, and self-taught peace.

Here melts another photo

of my partner,

desiring the touch, the I

the yearning for, smudged.

I fail. I gain. I follow. The taste

young of my eyes

meeting angel lover.

The piece is meant to problematize the nature of comfort within vulnerability. I felt obligated not only to question what sadness, anger, and regret may truly embody, but also to both alter and redefine the atmosphere for the expression of these emotions. The context to which the work responds is that of the balance sought within interpersonal relationships, in opposition to underlying impulses and self-sabotage.