Giulia Crispiani: "Ubiquity wonders, can Inheritance rescue Tomorrow?"

Giulia's 20 minute presentation for Maelstrom Slow Dance - DAI's 3 day graduation lectures marathon, June 2017

Yesterday has already left


Giulia Crispiani presents a play in one act, reading all of the four parts herself. For a short period of time, there is a video of a moving landscape in the background. The audience is given the 13-page script to follow along, should they choose to do so. It is in a brown, numbered dossier (edition of 60). In both English and Italian, the script is beautifully riso-printed, blue on white, accompanied by images of non-descript architectural spaces (windows, doors, passages, towers). The characters “Inheritance” and “Ubiquity” are represented by different colored lights - green and blue, respectively, and are speaking about “Yesterday” (male and stubborn) who has left already, and “Tomorrow” (a fragile creature), who awaits behind the scenes to appear only at the end as a white light. Act [One and Only] begins with Ubiquity telling what it feels like to face Yesterday and Tomorrow at the same time.  

Ray Brassier began by remarking that Giulia’s lecture performance “a very dense and impressive piece, challenging and difficult to unpack.” He thought it was a bold move to draw out the relationship between the past, present, and future through a personification of temporal relationships. He suggested that this works invites repeated engagement, and that he would like to read it again. Speaking about the dramatization of relationship between Yesterday and Tomorrow, he asks, “Is this unrepeatable? If so, it seems to want to exemplify unrepeatability of time.”  Finally Brassier remarked that this work “makes a demand on the viewer and resists facile interpolation,” and thus is characteristic of a strong work of art. Commenting on the qualities of the script, he said that while the play is a unique act, the sketch as transcribed in the script can be read and disseminated independently of the play itself.

Gabi Ngcobo remarked that she would have liked to have stayed with the experience longer. Because it was not very long, she felt it could have been looped in order for the audience to get a better grasp of it. Nevertheless, she appreciated being handed the script because it allows for a further, deeper reading later.

Marina Vishmidt found the complexity “generous in the demand it makes,” and “generous in its resistance to easy readings.” She interpreted the personification of temporalities and spatiality as “a kind of dialectic that feeds into question of unique versus ‘one’.” With regard to spending more time with it, she suggested that since there was so much surplus to what the audience heard (i.e. the video, the bilingual script, etc.) there was a potential for “other permutations, folds, other instantiations”. Vishmidt was impressed by the number of precise decisions that went into this very short piece, and believes that much more that could still come out of it.

Bassam el Baroni remarked that the only thing he was unclear about was the sound from the video because it seemed to interfere with the delivery of the script. He also questioned why video was there at all. For him, it was a “dense and sophisticated play, almost Borgesian in the sense of different layers of time and their personification.”

About Giulia Crispiani