Iulia Benze is a London based performance artist; her body of work includes live art performances, installations, experimental film, multimedia, research.


Created by film-director, writer and producer Benedykt Zasadzki, ‘Abrakadabra’ is a study on loneliness, misplacement, femininity, origins and belief.
The meaning of ‘Abrakadabra’: It is a Hebrew phase meaning ‘I create What I Speak.’
Ab=Exposition; Ra=Rising Action; Ca=Climax; Da=Falling Action; Bra= Denouement

An Inverted Traingle

Many words and phrases relating to rituals, talismans and pentacles have a symbolic meaning, either in them or in the way they are used, which is expressed phonetically or, more frequently, graphically. This word was in frequent use during the Middle Ages as a magic formula. It is derived from the Hebrew  phrase ‘abreq ad habra’ meaning ‘hurl your thunderbolt even unto death’;  a charm, against fever, cold, toothache, vanquishing fevers and illness etc.

‘This story starts with a stranger arriving to a strange land. It ends with beginning of reign of Antichrist…’ It could be anyone’s story, someone who is going in another country for a better and new life, but due to over sensibility, over thinking and loneliness, that person falls in an abyss of dark times, despair and depression. ‘Abrakadabra’ acts on multiple levels: it could be your usual super-natural horror story that triggers adrenaline and pleasure watching extreme situation, or a clinical-pathological case of a mental disorder, or a metaphorical analysis of human condition of misplacement and in-between-ness. It is full of symbols and in the end the viewer is presented with the resolution, an open to interpretation ending, living it open to anyone’s choice.

It is a very complex and personal story and extremely demanding for anyone’s acting skills. I remember even nowadays my audition process to get the part. It was self-understood.(implied laughter) You want to play a woman being possessed, then now and here (at Southbank, next to London Eye, a central touristic area always populated) be possessed. Does it sound easy?! You feel these words differently when you are there and get the challenge. You have all this different scenarios going through your head, why this could go wrong, but then you give it a go… In my opinion, it is a beautiful test to your own inhibitions, getting loose and letting go… That was and is what ‘Abrakadabra’ means to me, a rare artistic safe friendly environment of creating beauty and ugliness in the same time, of exorcising your own demons!

And that is how I embarked on the wonderful never-ending journey of ‘Abrakadabra’ , with firm, but safe guidance from Benedykt; on a journey trying to find answers to old questions, but encountering new questions; a journey with in detail attention to every gesture, every image, every symbol, every word, as each of them embodies a strange power of a potential possibility of coming to life. Creating as speaking and speaking while doing/acting, every word used has its own power, like a spell, and if you stay open to new pathways of life, you can grow some beautiful adventures, bringing us to the conclusion: You Are The  Author Of Your Journey! Abracadabra!

‘Human Gallery of Masterful Manole’, 2014, Romania

Masterful Manole

A living human gallery- a site-specific multicultural performance! Each performer is a statue. Each statue comes to life. Interacting with the audience, and then between themselves. The Theme and action from ‘Masterful Manole’-the ballad and the theatre play-are vital! The Gallery has a Guide, Iulia Benze. The Tour Guide accompanies the spectators in the world created.
Based on L.Blaga and the ballad
Director: Kurt Murray
Assistant Director/translator: Iulia Benze
Part: Tour Guide

‘Punch and Kiss’, premiered in London cabarets, 2014.
Performed: Denmark, Romania 

Punch and Kis

‘Punch and Kiss’ is an experimental interactive performance analysing relationships and their dynamic, with its ups and downs,  from love to hate and vice versa, with powerful contrast gestures as punches and kisses.

Director: Kurt Murray;
Co-Director: Iulia Benze

Resistance Gallery / London © 9th March 2013


By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Directed by: Kurt Murray
Part: Gretchen, Witch

Using themes of Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism (BDSM), the director, Kurt Murray, explored, through Goethe’s Faust, one man’s journey into the pleasures of the flesh, brought to an extreme and the cost that that entails. I was the character, Gretchen, that portrayed the innocence that was lost through enslavement, submission, and bondage. The bondage was represented through the bondage of the mind, as well as the flesh. This is an old concept used in a modern theatrical way. 

©2012, Drayton Arms Theatre, London


Written and directed by: Raymond-Kym Suttle
Part: Felicia Sucrette

With the idea of stereotypes in our minds, we explored, under the direction of Raymond-Kym Suttle, human categories in Occidental society.

It is a new comedy about loneliness and the erroneous belief that there’s a Myth or Mythster ‘Right’ out there for everyone.
MonoStereo (Monologues for Stereotypes) – is the name of a video dating matchmaking service: why live life in Mono when you could live it in Stereo?
MonoStereo is an extremely funny and often very moving look at the oddities of human behaviour. It’s an immensely funny play combining live action and film, monologues, situation comedy, farce, pathos, and character studies.

Brink Festival, © 2012, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London

Encoded Memories 

Directed by: Alexandra Ada Nutu
Part: A performance tool

Based on the encoded memories inside a human being’s DNA, this piece was directed by performance maker Ada Alexandra Nutu in which I offered myself as a tool for devising a choreographical performance using various media; a projector, a camera, a screen. Having established a safe word, I was stimulated to express memories through Psychoanalysis, repetition, and hypnotic talk, in such a way that we created a MAP of the performers’ body.  

Berghein Kantine / 30 May 2013


MONSTERS is Danish DJ Rosa Lux debut album,
featuring vocals by Randi Laubek
Music video directed on site in London by Director Matt Lippiatt & Produced by anton Z

This project outlines the generally ‘accepted’ image of the female body, put in different situations, from sexual worker to a soldier. Not only placed as a feminist work, but also crosses the border of so many concepts: in between, presenteeism, liminality, embodiment, scapegoating, territorializing, de-territorializing and re-territorializing, the unavoidable process through which every human goes.

In between two or more clear ‘accepted’ stages or states, presenteeism as work out of too much love and devotion, the visible and invisible thresholds, representation of different codes and body languages,  the oscillation between abuser and victim and Deleuze’s globalizing actions on psychic, mental, cultural, social and political platforms, nothing is chosen randomly.  The title is a metaphor; lyrics are full of symbols, all conducting to a strong message, with different resonances in each of us.

© 2012, Greenwich, London

Directed by: Manuel Vason
Part: performer/model

Together with internationally renowned photographer, Manuel Vason, we explored the urban space and the mutual change that is the result of the interaction. Using a location in Greenwich, we explored an aquatic, a terrestrial, and an aerial proposition to better understand the interaction between ourselves and environment. 

© 2012,  London

Using the original image – the photographer, Anthony Mortarelli, directed me to pose in a similar way. We captured various images within the same theme. We also explored alternative images using Goethe’s Faust as the basis.

FFEST2010 First Prize Category: Experimental, Romania
Selected and shown at Bucharest Jewish Film Festival, April 27- May 3 2012 Bucharest

‘A7714 – The Jewish Woman’

Directed by Manuela Borza
Part: a Jewish woman

‘A7714 – The Jewish Woman’ video essay draws inspiration from a poem written by Holocaust survivor Alexander Kimel. The collaborative project aimed to be a tribute to all Jewish people who suffered during those ghastly years. Both performer and director faced moments of personal and artistic doubts, overwhelmed by the gravity of the theme tackled. The explorations came with a stifling feeling of inability to fully illustrate the enormity of the phenomenon.

© 2010, Cluj-Napoca, Romania


CC Iulia Benze and Paula Onet

‘Skin’ is a collaborative video essay in which human identity is questioned and searched throughout a symbolical facial skinning. The performance confronts posthumanist issues and challenges the controlled demystification of the ‘natural body’.

© 2011, Cristian Luchian ‘The Great Time’ painting exhibition, Romanian Cultural Centre, London

‘The Great Time’ 

directed by Cristian Luchian
Part: Physical Theatre Performer

‘The Great Time project’, both performance and painting exhibition, features an eclectic overview of Romanian insights, traditions and performativity. Directed by Cristian Luchian, also the author of the visual art works, the performance serves and decodes by means of physical theatre each of the paintings incorporated in the exhibition. Debating on the ambivalence of the artist’s presence and the embodiment of its own creation, TGT explores the reconciliation of these two points: performer becomes creator and creator becomes creation.