I was born in 1977 under the Leaning Tower of Pisa, from a father  born in Gondar, Ethiopia and a mother born in via del Mare, Livorno, who grew up among the Florence’ good society.

My granparents went to Africa from Apulien, my gran father was a doctor, son of a doctor, probably son of a Monk of the Abbey of Polignano a Mare.  (DEAR LUCY 2023 RILABEN PAZ)


Talking about my research today is not easy. My spontaneous research began as a child with the observation of nature, women’s costumes, drawing. It developed into pop music, dance, make-up, a childhood between queer and a bourgeoise family, the countryside and travelling twice a year to follow my father’s cardiological meetings. Then an identity discontinuity, a teen ager going to theatre, contemporary art, the 20th century, the avant-gardes, the matter of Italian arte povera, the set design. Then the recovery of the body, after a crise a coming out, dance theatre in Florence and the Nikolais technique from New York city, together with other American ascendants of late modern and post modern and at the same time studies in Architecture in Florence. On these premises and literature, my imagination was formed between the solitary dimension and sharing, like in a program of performing artists in residency in Bilbao, between the stage and exhibition spaces, public, outdoors, schools. From the first work I present, are already present in Potenza elements of more or less conscious reflection on gender, society, criticism of elements of the capitalist economy, pollution, the traditional way of understanding art. Also about technique and methodology, dramaturgy of the dancer and actor, as a virtuoso technique of control and skill.

Here today, my research focuses on cavities, the passage from its philosophical aesthetic meaning, as with W. Benjamin and Deleuze, ‘Passage’ as with M. Perniola Inorganic sex-appeal, after F.L. Wright in organic architecture. The fascination of modernism, the form, the rational lines, the alienation of design and then the human, biographical, cultural component, which divides and unifies, if one goes beyond the border. The awareness of belonging to an iconographic culture of shapes and colours in art, like that of privilege, relative and not absolute, of coming from Tuscany. Putting oneself at stake, to what extent? The mental health, the working condition of the man, how the critical artist can manage his act in time and historical space, universal and personal political position.

My research mixes, focuses on an anti-colonial approach talking about the colonial past of my country, my family, talking about tradition, even food, music in Italy, to understand what the norm and queer is for me.

My research in performance that no longer has a specific place, and whose fruition is no longer frontal or formal, but free, like an installation of bodies, voices, sounds. The beginning of the practice of international curating, welcoming the other’s point of view and researching on different elements together with other artists, without losing one’s uniqueness.

RILABEN is a performer, author, researcher. After studying some set design and Architecture, concluded a program called PAP, a performing art project from IYMT european network for young makers theater in Bilbao/Amsterdam/Birmingham/Porto with the support of Leeds University, and Festivals.
Just before, in 2012 he is finishing his  A. Nikolais/Luis Pedagogy Certificate Programm by Simona Bucci Company , approved by Nikolais-Luis Foundation New York City and starting to investigate Berlin scene.
He learned principles from different dance techniques as Release/Contact Improvisation  with Company Blu , Laban with R. Haisma and M. Feldenkrais with R. Bozarth, S. Wei , as well as different approaches to the body in the performing arts in workshop and P. Mereu CCCP program in Florence and C. Rizzo, Kinkaleri, V.Sieni, C.Carlson, S. Buirge, D. Dupuy, D. Mercy, M.Spängberg and many others. .
He is  working through intuition and stratification of improvisation, to set an alive installation of bodies related with philosophical approach to art, audience perception of the event , experimental or pop music and site-specific frame.
He collaborated with several companies as dancer, performer, with many Opera Theaters, like with Abbado at Rome and Venice, Martone at Staatsoper unter den Linden Berlin, ‘Wagner Ring’ by Fura des Baus, R. Andò version of ‘Winterreise’ by Schubert at maggio Musicale Fiorentino, where is also performer or assistant as with M. Bejart and S. Bucci.
He creates his first ‘CONT’ piece inspired by plastic, daily pollution and resistance, through ‘A Man Without Qualities’ by R. Musil in 2012 , with the music of JD Zazie, in Florence, Poznan (PL), and then, at the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao, in a duo version with C.Abati. The piece will travel through Italy and Portugal.
The second piece ‘DUO’ with C. Abati, in 2014/15 after several residencies, at Vivaio del Malcantone, SPAM Lucca, Limonaia /Company Blu, SpazioK Prato, première at Ada studio Berlin.
BOWO, third  project from 2013/2017, is inspired by Deleuze-Guattari, A.Artaud theory, ‘ A body without organs’, thanks to Cso group in Arteleku art center, San Sebastian, who invited RILABEN to teach a workshop  and develope a performance that will be presented with live music by JD Zazie.
In Florence, Murate Art Center, Berlin Spektrum Art technology/Tatwerk and Bologna PerAspera Feastival.
New performances projects in 2017, IN-EXtensionfrom Beckett’s “All strangeaway”, first studio in Tatwerk Berlin, second step as a ‘duo’ at Bologna ERT in January 2018.
STADT WF was a performance presented at Flutgraben Berlin in September 2018 for OpenOccupy .
As part of MOR 2017, month of research at Uferstudios , he is working on ‘Borys Charmatz’ critical subject’ with ‘Vier Ludenasta’ group.
In 2018 is selected as re-performance artist for the exhibition ‘The Cleaners’ from M. Abramovic /Linsey Peisinger.
Performer for GUCCI Garden and THE PLANT Magazine in Florence in 2019, he performes as well for Kath Frankie video at Babelsberg studios Potsdam and in 2021 for Simone Forti in Contempoary Art Center L. Pecci, in Italy.
in 2019 he is also teaching and leading a performance project ‘The Skin of the space’  at Tanzfabrik Uferstudios and premiered “SAI, a thing that feels” at Openspaces festival, a work inspired by the Italian philosopher M. Perniola’s book ‘The sex appeal of the inorganic’ . After meeting him, the performance is based on calmness and immateriality, dance voice bodies music, are a not-event happening live in an audio visual relation with objects, video, and inorganic materials, thanks to Tanzfabrik with A. Zoe, P. Stodieck, E. Stamatakis.
In 2020 and 2021 Rilaben is teaching in Theater Academy of Tuscany in Lucca ‘Performance and body in motion’. His studio is now in Berlin at Flutgraben e.V.
He is going to present two projects , SOLOPI77A at Teatro della Limonaia 2021 and workshop at PSR collective Uferstudios 2022.
DearLucy in collaboration with Tina Salvadori Paz , is reflecting their identities and in dialog with gender, generational gap, mediterranen and north western European privilege, so Italian colonial past in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The support of Fosca, Murate Art dinstrict Florence and Kunstraum Lakeside (A) are on going.
OpenOccupy Flutgraben e.V. 2020/2021 ,  see him in organization and performing a bnew site specific performance ‘Fallen Bird’ with the original music of JD Zazie.
OpenOccupy 2022 in Flutgraben with Das Essen as special event and the next development of collaborations like a new duo with a musician and a collective work in performance art.
Dear Lucy is a performative installation about colonialism and anthropology conceived with Tina Salvadori Paz and collaborating with several artists and researchers.
IMPORT/EXPORT is a collective project of performance art, moving as a nomadic Platform between Livorno(IT), Berlin(DE)and Belgrade(SE) from 2022 to 2025, thanks to Creative Europe support and several partners associated.