Scripting Prophecies Part 1
Led by Teresa Calonje, Giulia Damiani, Barbara Mahlknecht
October 2017 at Goldsmiths University, London.
This seminar presented the organisers’ approach to the questions of the translation, archive and theatricality. We considered what possible relations can be generated by thinking together departing from our individual research and playing with these
three terms. The seminar spoke in the negative: we looked at that which cannot be translated and the untranslatability as a strategy to resist appropriation. We looked at the way archives, material and virtual, cannot be affirmatively reproduced and need to be articulated in non-linear ways that open up new
possibilities and imaginary futures. We tested the potential of theatricality – a word also used to indicate the deceptive nature of women – to be the failure of being in the present, a dangerous
displacement away from the confines of identification or the space of theatre.
Curating, dramaturgy and letter-writing are suggested as practices of caring, a notion that is considered here in relation to lamentation and continuous wailing. Furthermore, the seminar
enacted and interrogated the notions of distance and proximity in relation to the archive, theatricality and translation to nourish different modes of being within these subjects. What kind of connections with the past and the future can be conceived by revisiting, ex-hausting, shaking the origins of these terms? Following the organisers’ performance, the participants were invited into a conversation. How to deal with a conversation that is already theatrical, already at a distance, already written for its
appearance, already public? Exposed to the other, an intruder, an interceptor, an alien, someone from another space? Private stories, theory and theatricality were exposed and performed.
This was followed by a workshop on the
collective close reading of excerpts from Anne Carson, George Didi-Huberman and Hito Steyerl.
Scripting Prophecies, Part 1 is shaping the programme of a longer series of seminars by the organisers.
Statue of Saint Lucy in Coimbra, Portugal; waterfall at Pulo do Lobo, Portugal.
(Photos by Giulia Damiani)