By Lise Skou, 2014
Reading performance, booklet published by Antipyrine

Image from performance. Sign with quote from Revolt and Crisis in Greece
– Between a Present Yet to Pass and a Future Still to Come.

A text work and a manuscript for a play.

The work emerged out of an original idea to stage Marge Piercy’s novel Woman on
the Edge of Time
from 1976, juxtaposing it with Revolt and Crisis in Greece –
Between a Present Yet to Pass and a Future Still to Come
(eds. Dimitris Dalakoglou
& Antonis Vradis) (2011). Doing so facilitates discussion of potential future
scenarios in a field where fiction and fact intersect.

Woman on the Edge of Time is regarded as a classic Utopian speculative science
fiction novel. It merges a story about time travel with treatments of issues
concerning economic inequality, social change, co-operation, social movements,
and “repairing” the world.

In December of 2008 the world saw how Greece plummeted into the depths of an
unprecedented economic and social crisis whose effects would ripple out and be
felt throughout the world. The book Revolt and Crisis analyses the revolt,
contextualising it in relation to the state and city in which it arose. The book
explores the waves of crises that followed in its wake, and offers theories on
future possibilities for revolt in light of the economic crisis.

The book urges us to radically rethink and redefine our tactics for resistance in a
rapidly changing landscape where crises and potentialities are engaged in a fierce
battle with an uncertain outcome.

This last point is of central significance to We all suffer from Capitalism, but we
refuse treatment
: poised somewhere between fiction and fact it depicts the
perspectives of revolution in a state of constant interchange between past,
present, and future, accentuating the dialectic links between them.

Our existing, present-day society is partly described through our main protagonist
– Connie, a psychiatric patient – and her memories of her past; partly through her
experiences of the present; and partly via her journey through time to a future
utopian world.

The utopia depicted in this play differs from other classic utopias in one respect:
it is incomplete, not yet finished: the battle still rages. For the future utopian
society exists side by side with a dystopian counterpart, and the two future
societies are waging war on each other.

In the play, humanity is divided into those in power and those who are oppressed,
the victims – and the latter are in turn divided into two categories: the ‘well-
adjusted’, who have adapted themselves to the system, and the ‘maladjusted’,
which represent the chance for protest against the system and the hope for a
better future. It is, however, made very clear that you must be ready to fight a
long, hard struggle to achieve the final realisation of the utopian vision.

For most of the play the main point of view is that of the ‘victim’, the economically
and socially disadvantaged, but towards the end of the play we are presented with
the authorities’ point of view in the form of the official report about Connie the
patient. This ending gives the play an ironic twist, and – given the fact that the end
position is conventionally accorded special significance – it adds support to a
pessimistic reading of the play. For if Connie’s experiences and actions are simply
perceived through the definitions applied by the authorities, and hence by society
– i.e. as manifestations of insanity – there is little hope that they will affect the
shape of the future.

Book cover. The book is the manuscript for We all suffer...

Developed and staged in collaboration with: Gritt Uldall-Jessen
Duration: 70 minutes
Contents: Staged reading, booklet published by Antipyrine
Supported by The Danish Arts Foundation

Shown at:
Nikolaj Kunsthal
See more here

Systemics #3 Against - the idea of growth, towards poetry (or how to
build a universe that doesn't fall apart two days later.

Kunsthal Aarhus.
See more here