the reverse darkroom

The room is dark, thick and full. Something fails. 

 

Sophie Wright: Look, it’s really up to you. You’ve watched me watching you the whole way through.

 

She sighs, mopping caramel off her brow with her right hand. Time passes.

 

I don’t think me explaining things is going to work any more. Let’s try it this way, you know where everything is. I left you all the stuff, notes, pictures, moving ones too. See what you can do. It’s all there. Before I go, take this. It’s probably of some use. I wrote it last week for you after our time together these past months. 

 

She leaves a note on the table and disappears.

 

 

Time passes. Night falls. 

The sun rises, the moon rises. Regardless, three among many remain awake in the dark room. One is frantically scribbling. An avalanche of scrunched up paper balls lies on the floor, on top of what looks like huge towers of other scraps and objects. The other two wait patiently, lost in thought. 

 

Gedanoborus kerneggeri: Hey, how about this? 

 

She slides a piece of paper in front of them. It begins to read itself:

Photograph #12: Stop! This won’t do. This doesn’t give us any agency whatsoever. It’s the same thing she was complaining about: imposing words on us. Just pass me the inventory.

 

Gedanoborus kerneggeri: Which one? I told you, everything is stuck together. (mumbling) I only added to what she had written already.

 

Photograph #12: The first one. When do you think she’ll be back? 

 

Gedanoborus kerneggeri wobbles, dismayed, exasperated. 

 

Gedanoborus kerneggeri: You were there. She said she’d had enough. She said it was in our hands now, there’s no use –  

 

Object #3: I can fill you in, I was one of the first she collected. As usual, I can tell you everything about the journey. (muttering) If only you’d listen for once.

 

The silence is sharp. An indeterminate amount of time passes. The light turns itself on, illuminating a few objects in the room.

 

Photograph #12: Is that it? 

 

The three look closer. The box judders and spits out an image and a few notes. 

Photograph #12: (dazed, jealous with a touch of curiosity). I see, well she clearly has designs for the future, this box is bursting at the seams. She’ll be done with us soon. 

 

Object #3: Oh god, don’t take it so personally. Do you see me whining that she’s obsessed with some old dinosaur that existed 44 millions years before me? No. So get a grip. Next one. 

 

Gedanoborus kerneggeri: Stop! Remind me of what the plan was before the summer. 

 

They look at page ‘e’ on Sophie’s website. 

 

Photograph #12: And to think... I wasn’t even mentioned in the beginning. I can’t believe it. 

 

She is visibly disgusted. Moments pass before she begins to smirk. 

 

I suppose it makes me even more special. 

 

Object #3 rolls her eyes. Something appears. 

All three look bemused. They wait, knowingly. Eventually, what sounds like a box emits a groan and, shuddering, throws up a heap of objects.

The light flickers off. Gedanoborus kerneggeri sighs and casts a dirty look at Object #3. 

Gedanoborus kerneggeri: Why on earth do I have to share the same space as YOU.


Object #3: (sweating, if only she could) Typical. Have you EVER considered what it’s like for me? Christ, if you actually had any sympathy, you’d see. It’s humiliating! I was getting on with things when I was plunged into scalding hot plastic, then sold for a pathetic 50 zloty to a gawping British tourist. You would have thought… I mean you’ve been through it too.


Object #3 (wryly smiling): We’re not that different you know. 

Gedanoborus kerneggeri: How dare you not account for my historic value, the importance of my discovery to this country – 

Object #3: “The Gold of the North.” Let’s be real – it’s about them. You’re part of an industry. Desire, order, truth, lies. It’s about them. My discovery was what changed things for Sophie, whether you like it or not. 

Photograph #12 snorts and throws the dirtiest look yet in the direction of Object #3. At that precise moment, a box begins to shudder violently, as if it can no longer contain itself. Seconds later it erupts, shooting paper into the air before falling exhausted on its side. The lights flicker on. 

 

Photograph #12: She doesn’t believe in me.

An awkward silence prevails.

Gedanoborus kerneggeri: Well, I think we can all agree that she’s gathered too much. She needs order. Decisions must be made. With the utmost respect, I’d say she’s been seduced by some dubious company and she’s strayed off-path –


The phone rings. Object #3 picks up. A conversation ensues.

 

Ole Worm's Cabinet of Curiosities

Ole Worm's Cabinet of Curiosities

"Untitled" by Joseph Cornell

"Untitled" by Joseph Cornell

"The Magic Study of Happiness" from "Dime Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell" by Charles Simic 

"The Magic Study of Happiness" from "Dime Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell" by Charles Simic 

"Boite-en-Valise" by Marcel Duchamp

"Boite-en-Valise" by Marcel Duchamp

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    Ole Worm's Cabinet of Curiosities

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    "Untitled" by Joseph Cornell

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    "The Magic Study of Happiness" from "Dime Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell" by Charles Simic 

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    "Boite-en-Valise" by Marcel Duchamp

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Photograph #12: But what will become of me? I can’t tell you how good it felt to be taken out of that box. To be talked about again after all this time. To tell the truth… I... I thought time had frozen. Again. I thought I’d never be seen… you heard what Magda said. “It’s like my personal mausoleum.” Imagine being buried like that. I used to have pride of place. (muttering, the photograph folds onto itself) But I’m relevant! I happened! I happen again and again… again and again… again and again… I’m happening right now! Let me go! Let me go the whole way!

She trails off, dropping to the floor with a groan. The caption inscribed on her back almost burns through the darkness. “On the Top, 1942.” There is a lingering silence. It continues for what seems like a long time. Finally it is broken by the sound of another cardboard box falling gently to the left. Paper spills onto the floor. 

 

  

 

Self-portrait of my Great Aunt Eva

Self-portrait of my Great Aunt Eva

Self-portrait of my mother

Self-portrait of my mother

"Mnemosyne Atlas" by Aby Warburg

"Mnemosyne Atlas" by Aby Warburg

My initial Atlas

My initial Atlas

My initial Atlas

My initial Atlas

My initial Atlas

My initial Atlas

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    Self-portrait of my Great Aunt Eva

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    Self-portrait of my mother

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    "Mnemosyne Atlas" by Aby Warburg

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    My initial Atlas

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    My initial Atlas

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    My initial Atlas

Photograph #12 is standing tall once again, radiating with monochrome sunburn. 

Gedanoborus kerneggeri: So it’s a question of possibility. What happened next? Forgive me if I’m a bit behind. It’s slightly embarrassing, but it’s the act of looking you see. I am so used to being looked through in that museum that it’s become quite difficult to do otherwise.


Object #3: My friends! (wryly) We’re performers and don’t you forget it. What happened next was a trip to Lithuania. Our family – don’t you SNEER at that word, you know it’s true – was put into action. We got some attention, copped some feels, spun some minds. They made quite a lot out of us. 

Gedanoborus kerneggeri picks up one of the papers littering the floor and starts scribbling. 

 

Group image universe with donations from every participant

Group image universe with donations from every participant

My Great Aunt by fellow participant Bjargey Olafsdóttir

My Great Aunt by fellow participant Bjargey Olafsdóttir

My work as interpreted by fellow participant Audrius Kriauciunas

My work as interpreted by fellow participant Audrius Kriauciunas

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    Group image universe with donations from every participant

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    My Great Aunt by fellow participant Bjargey Olafsdóttir

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    My work as interpreted by fellow participant Audrius Kriauciunas

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WITH ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE+VO BY AUDRIUS KRIAUCIUNAS

(THIS TEXT WAS PERFORMED AS A LIVE VOICEOVER)

The room is not as it was before. The lights are flickering, the air is thick and liquidy. The three are nowhere to be seen but there is movement in the piles of objects. Gedanoborus kerneggeri's note lies on the floor, next to another heavy stack of notes that is breathing. 

From "Legsicon" by Laure Prouvost

From "Legsicon" by Laure Prouvost

The light flickers. The room is in-between transformation: things are hotting up and it smells damp and moist. Fragments are zipping around like moths towards the lamp.  

The room is now cold, awash with sounds and movement. Sophie has returned and is busy mediating. 

END (THIS) SCENE.


A crash booms through the room, some drawers open and balls and balls of paper tumble onto the floor.

Mont Blanc (in a commanding tone): And what about me?

Henriette d'Angeville, the second woman to climb Mont Blanc, the first to "remember her impressions"

Henriette d'Angeville, the second woman to climb Mont Blanc, the first to "remember her impressions"

Mitostoma chrysomelas observed on Mont Blanc, 5.30pm on July the 24th 2018

Mitostoma chrysomelas observed on Mont Blanc, 5.30pm on July the 24th 2018

News footage of Mont Blanc's melting glacier

News footage of Mont Blanc's melting glacier

Mairie Paradis, the first woman to climb Mont Blanc

Mairie Paradis, the first woman to climb Mont Blanc

Monument of Honore Benedict De Saussure, the second man to climb Mont Blanc, with Jacques Balmet the first

Monument of Honore Benedict De Saussure, the second man to climb Mont Blanc, with Jacques Balmet the first

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    Henriette d'Angeville, the second woman to climb Mont Blanc, the first to "remember her impressions"

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    Mitostoma chrysomelas observed on Mont Blanc, 5.30pm on July the 24th 2018

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    News footage of Mont Blanc's melting glacier

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    Mairie Paradis, the first woman to climb Mont Blanc

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    Monument of Honore Benedict De Saussure, the second man to climb Mont Blanc, with Jacques Balmet the first

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(you can find out more about Giorgia's work HERE)

Mont Blanc (muttering): You have some work to do. 

The room vibrates. Sophie, who is now on the phone, exits.

FOR THE FUTURE, PLEASE CLICK HERE

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