Shortly before the pandemic struck, Sotterraneo company had planned a new show called L’Angelo della Storia (‘The Angel of History’). It is a collection of historical anecdotes, which are analysed through the lens of German philosopher Walter Benjamin’s thought, bringing about ‘short-circuit’ reactions in (active) thinking. While show rehearsals are on hold, Iperstoria will turn
the company’s workplace into an on-stream project, and the analysis and research phase will take the form of storytelling and meetings with the audience. In a virtual room, Sotterraneo company members will rattle off dozens of paradoxical anecdotes. It will be a map of historical events in which absurd gestures are performed- gestures that are yet able to summarise the contradictions of an era. As these stories unfold, Sotterraneo interacts with their audience, ‘jumping around’ in the historical material through textual in-depth analysis, photographs, extracts from historical video and movie clips, and ghostly encounters with characters from the past who are there to answer the audience’s questions. All in all, it is an experiment aimed to kick-start a show production process in a public and digital form, and to show that a story or History can’t always boil down to a linear order or be imbued with the comforting feeling of finding a meaning. Let us go explore and get lost on a historiographic walk-about! When they tell you, ‘you cannot know because you weren’t there’, they are telling you something inaccurate. None of us was there when the dinosaurs were around. In fact, no-one knew anything about them until we started digging them up, and today we have been able to digitally reconstruct them using sophisticated computer models. You were not there: sure. You don’t know: accurate. And, unfortunately, you’ll never know everything there is to know. But you can learn a lot more than you know – you just have to
start digging. According to Benjamin, images from the past are almost impressed on a light-sensitive plate, and only the future has strong enough acids to develop it and make it visible.
Iperstoria is an on-stream performance aimed to highlight these images so as to build a ‘map of paradox’ and talk about our times through a lens that is halfway between historiography and vision.
with Sara Bonaventura, Claudio Cirri, Daniele Villa
writing Daniele Villa
stage manager Marco Santambrogio
technical advice Alessandro Bartoletti
graphic design Lorenzo Guagni
producer Eleonora Cavallo
production assistant Francesco Silei
contribution Mibac, Regione Toscana
with the support of Fondazione Toscana Spettacolo onlus e Regione Toscana – progetto Così remoti, così vicini – Nuove idee per un teatro a distanza
in collaboraction with NAM – Not A Museum/Manifattura Tabacchi
Teatro Excelsior / Fondazione Toscana Spettacolo