We got it all wrong | Tea Tupajić

And just when we were standing there on the edge, you asked me where the hell it is that we are going, what is this space we are entering. Because in that space we were about to enter, there are no words (it eats them all: truths, manoeuvres, curses and lies), and because I was dog-tired of always explaining everything, I turned off the lights.

When I turned off the lights, we entered.

Then I told you a story. When I was a child, I used to go to a forest. I would lay down with my ear on the ground, trying to listen. I imagined it was full of rotten dinosaurs, ghosts, spirits and tumbling deafening volcanos. All these unknowns inside of it and inside of us we know nothing about.

It is there that I wanted to go.

The blackest black in this world is called Vantablack. Being one of the darkest substances ever known, it absorbs 99.965% of visible light. The ones that have seen it say that when you are close to it, you feel an eerie pull towards it. But just when you are ready to let go, to let it have all of you, your bones and knees fail you. You never move.

No nightmare sweeter than this, no paradise more haunting than this.

Someone then said: The Greeks in their theatre looked at the vast sea (that was before we closed our eyes to what it brought to the shore), the medieval theatre looked at Heaven and Hellmouth. And we, all we look at is darkness.

So, we just stood there for a while. No songs, no whispers or applause, no glory.
Slowly, very slowly, we stopped breathing.
The silence that arose was like the silence I heard only in lakes and only in the silence itself. Or were it our muted screams?
It is then that we understood. We got it all wrong.
We were afraid and we got it all wrong.
We do not enter that space, it enters us.
Our skin does not dissolve that darkness, that darkness dissolves and tears our skin, leaving us with the naked life.

“When we speak the word ‘life’,
it must be understood we are not referring to life
as we know it  from its surface of fact,
but to that fragile, fluctuating centre which forms never reach.”

Antonin Artaud


Tea Tupajić is a Croatian theatre and film director. She initiates long-lasting projects to research how art intervenes in complex, controversial political issues. usually she works with non-professional performers e.g. former employees of israeli intelligence service (‘The Disco’, 2015). Her work has been shown internationally in theatres, galleries, at festivals and in the public space.